National job growth exceeded expectations in October

Job growth in the overall economy continued at a moderate pace in October, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national economy added a net 128,000 jobs in October on a seasonally-adjusted basis – a gain that was even more impressive considering the dampening factors at work during the month. 

One negative influence was the United Auto Workers strike, which subtracted 42,000 from employment in October. In addition, there was the elimination of 20,000 temporary federal government jobs, which were related to the preparation for the 2020 Census. 

Looking beyond the manufacturing and government sectors, the story is even more positive. Private service-producing employers added a net 157,000 jobs in October, which followed similar gains in August (+159,000) and September (+160,000). This represented an acceleration from an average increase of 117,000 jobs during the previous six months (February – July). 

All told, the national labor market remains in a generally healthy position, which bodes well for continued consumer spending in the coming months.

Track more economic indicators and read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.