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:
#JobsReport While the unemployment rate has been falling, further drops will be harder to achieve because of the scarring effect taking place. The rise in the share of long-term unemployment as a share of the unemployed is mirroring the rise during the Great Recession. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/igAzsnE6mh— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport The rise in those facing permanent layoffs is worrying, while the drop in temporary job losses is good. Permanent layoffs and rising long term unemployment will greet the New Year with a challenging labor market to keep this from being a drag on recovery. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/rU2x6uobrs— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport all private industries showed job gains over last month, with the lowest wage industries (going south on the graph) among the big gainers (going east on the graph): Retail Trade bouncing back from its big losses in March and April (down 471k from last year). @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/M2uJGVnAvZ— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport Only three major groups remain with double digit unemployment, teen agers, people age 20-24 and Blacks. Before you pull out your old "skills-gap" the unemployment rate for high school drop-outs is 9.8%, lower than for THE Black population (10.8%) @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/v6DjotCvG0— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport After falling to a new record low, the share of the Black population employed is showing improvement, now surpassing the previous record low set at the depths of the Great Recession. But, it has a long way to go to get back to the 57% range. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/5P6kAEQGOM— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport the more narrowly defined U-3 unemployment rate (today's topline number) and the broadest measure U-6 of labor market slack (including marginally attached workers and part-time workers who want full-time hours) are now below the peak of the Great Recession. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/eEqEGmhBiH— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
#JobsReport The other big challenge for a full recovery, over 2nd and 3rd Quarter GDP reports, state and local government has shrunk. In the labor market the drop is dramatic: levels below the depths of the Great Recession. This disproportionately hurts Blacks and women. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/EOwer2MCSO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 6, 2020
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.