Updated Nov 3, 2023 - Economy

U.S. adds 150k jobs in October as labor market cools

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Employers slowed their hiring and the unemployment rate edged up in October, the Labor Department said Friday.

Why it matters: After roaring growth through the summer months, the red-hot U.S. labor market cooled as fall began.

Driving the news: There were 150,000 jobs added last month, dropping from a revised 297,000 in September.

  • The jobless rate rose to 3.9%, from 3.8% in September. It has been below 4% for 21 straight months.

Of note: The change in the unemployment rate was accompanied by drops in the share of adults participating in the labor force, and the share of adults working dropped by 0.2 percentage points, unwelcome signs for labor supply.

By the numbers: The government also revised August and September job growth downward, showing a combined 101,000 fewer positions added those months than previously reported.

  • Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in October and were up 4.1% over the past 12 months, showing deceleration.
  • The strongest gains were in the health care sector, which added 77,000 jobs.
  • The job growth numbers were depressed by the now-resolved autoworkers strike, which caused a drop of 33,000 jobs in manufacturing of motor vehicles and parts.

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional context.

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