Total U.S. jobs

Job growth picked up in October

The economy registered its strongest monthly employment gain since July, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national economy added a net 531,000 jobs in October on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which followed somewhat smaller growth in August (483,000) and September (312,000).

The private sector led the way with an increase of 604,000 jobs in October, while government payrolls shrunk by 73,000. 

Within the private sector, the broadly defined leisure and hospitality sector posted the strongest growth. Eating and drinking places (+119,400), accommodations (+23,000) and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector (+21,000) all added jobs in October.

Elsewhere in the private sector, the professional and business services (+100,000), manufacturing (+60,000), transportation and warehousing (+54,000), health care and social assistance (+47,000), construction (+44,000) and retail trade (+35,000) sectors all posted healthy gains in October.

As of October, the economy was still 4.2 million jobs – or 2.8% – down from its February 2020 peak. A return to pre-pandemic employment levels likely won’t be seen until late-2022.

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