October Jobs Report Shows Continued Economic Strength

Thomas D. Boston, professor in the School of Economics at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, says the October jobs report shows continued economic strength. Boston's prepared the following analysis for his monthly appearance on CNN:

"In my economics 101 class, I would give today’s Jobs Report a grade of B, even though the unemployment rate increased slightly. Here is why.

"The economy added 171,000 jobs in October, many more than analysts expected. The number of jobs added during the month of September was revised upward by 30%. This means the economy continues to add jobs at a moderately strong rate, averaging about 170,000 over the last three months. 

"The unemployment rate increased slightly from 7.8% to 7.9%. The increase was caused by a large increase in the number of persons reentering the labor market. Specifically, the civilian labor force expanded by 578,000 workers, and the number of workers 'not in the labor market' declined by 369,000. This means, workers are more optimistic about finding work.

 "Most new jobs were created in the following industries:

  •  retail trades, 36,400
  • healthcare, 32,500
  • leisure and hospitality, 28,000
  • construction, 17,000 (this is especially good news)

"The unemployment rate increased significantly among blacks, but remained virtually unchanged for whites and Latinos. Among blacks increased from 13.4% to 14.3%. The increase in the black unemployment rate was caused by the large number who reentered the labor market. Specifically, while the labor force increased by 578,000 workers; 68% of that number (387,000) was attributable to blacks."

  • Black unemployment rate: 14.3% in October and 13.4% in September
  • White unemployment rate: 7.0% in October and 7.0% in September
  • Latino unemployment rate: 10.0% in October and 9.9% in the September

Overall numbers:

                                    October      September

Net Jobs Created          171,000            148,000 (114,000)
Private Sector
               184,000            128,000 (104,000)
Goverment Sector
         -13,000              20,000 (10,000)

Industry Job Change
Retail Trade 
Leisure & Hospitality

Unemployment                  7.9%               7.8%
White                                7.0%               7.0%
                               14.0%             13.4%
                              10.0%              9.9%
                          23.7%             23.7%

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  • Thomas "Danny" Boston

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Rebecca Keane 404-894-1720