Economy Gains 638,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Declines to 6.9%

The U.S. economy gained 638,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.9%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the October job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (271,000), professional and business services (208,000), retail trade (104,000), construction (84,000), health care and social assistance (79,000), transportation and warehousing (63,000), other services (47,000), manufacturing (38,000) and financial activities (31,000). Government employment fell by 268,000. Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, and information, changed little in October. 

In October, the unemployment rates declined for all major worker groups: teenagers (-13.9%), Black Americans (-10.8%), Hispanics (-8.8%), Asians (-7.6%), adult men (-6.7%), adult women (-6.5%) and White Americans (-6.0%).

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in October and accounted for 32.5% of the total unemployed.