US employers added 531,000 jobs in October as economy continues recovery

Strong numbers provide a boost to Joe Biden as economy appears to withstand impact of coronavirus

Last modified on Fri 5 Nov 2021 10.09 EDT

US employers added a solid 531,000 jobs in October as the American economy appeared to withstand the impact of coronavirus and continued its recovery.

The strong number provides a boost to Joe Biden, whose presidency has been battered by political setbacks in recent months as it struggles to enact his domestic agenda and suffered a major defeat in the race for governor of Virginia.

October’s job growth outpaced the 450,000 new jobs economists had predicted from the job market, mitigating fears of slow growth in the jobs sector after far fewer jobs were added in September than was expected.

The boost in jobs was expected after Covid cases and hospitalization rates declined in October.

The rise has meant a continued decrease in the unemployment rate, which was 4.6% in October. The decrease in unemployment was mostly seen among white and Hispanic workers, while the Black and Asian unemployment rate has remained unchanged. The Black unemployment rate stands at 7.9% – more than 3% higher than the white unemployment rate of 4.2%.

October’s job surge was largely seen in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes hotels, entertainment and restaurants. The industry was bolstered by 164,000 jobs in October, reaching the highest number of people employed in the industry since the start of the pandemic.

Other industries that saw increased growth in October include professional and business services, which includes marketing and accounting, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing.

Hourly and weekly wages also rose in October, a continuation of an upward trend over the last few months, particularly as employers have had to entice workers to apply for jobs amid labor shortages.

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