Employers Keep Hiring, but Unemployment Rises

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, according to the latest monthly employment snapshot from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday morning.

While the 261,000 jobs added for October is the the smallest monthly jobs gain for the U.S. economy since December 2020, it is also a solid gain by historical standards. The economy added an average of 183,000 jobs a month over the course of the decade before the pandemic.

The U.S. labor market has remained very strong despite growing fears by many economists that a recession looms, and efforts by the Federal Reserve to tamp down the pace of economic growth as a way of combating higher prices.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has warned that the economy may need to shed jobs if price pressures are to be brought under control, but so far the Fed’s string of large interest rate hikes has not stopped employers from seeking more help. The continued strength in the labor market could leave the door open for the Fed to continue to hike rates at its upcoming meetings.