The unemployment numbers for October proved the sharp decline in the unemployment rate in September was no fluke. The numbers were not manipulated.
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US payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 171,000 new jobs last month, blowing the water out of the initial forecast for 125,000 new payrolls. The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9% from 7.8%, indicating the recovery is still fragile despite its increased persistence toward improvement.
Alan Ruskin of Deutsche Bank notes the increase in the unemployment rate is due to more people rejoining the jobs force based on the large 410,000 gain in the household survey and the number of jobs available did not keep up.
September payrolls initially came in up 114,000 but were revised upward to 148,000. This upward revision plus the strong numbers for October confirm the trend noticed in weekly jobless claims that the employment picture is not only improving but that improvement is also becoming more steady.
The survey was conducted too early in the month to include the impact from Hurricane Sandy.
The private sector delivered all of the gains in October, adding 184,000 new jobs. Government payrolls lost 13,000 jobs as federal and state employment shrank.