On November 8th the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. employment was up by 204,000 in the month of October. This was a shock to many, particularly given the weak ADP numbers published in late October.
The BLS delivered a second surprise by bumping up the net jobs added for August and September. Unfortunately, the number of unemployed in October was only 44,000 less than August, and the unemployment rate, 7.3%, was the same for both months.
For the first 10 months of 2013, U.S. employment increased at an average rate of 186,300 jobs per month. This is above the monthly average for 2012 (185,000) and 2011 (175,000).
U.S. job growth was strong in the first quarter of 2013, but the increases became more tepid as the year progressed. Average job growth for the past three months is slightly above 200,000. The December release will show the extent to which Congress’ game of chicken with the Federal budget derailed this momentum.
©Copyright 2011 by CBER.