Physicians’ offices and hospitals both are part of gains for the month.
Unemployment in October was 3.9%, changing little month to month but creeping upward since spring this year.
Health care added jobs in the last month, along with government and social assistance, while manufacturing dipped due to worker strikes, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the Department of Labor.
The report noted that since lows in April, unemployment has risen by 0.5% and the total number of unemployed workers has increased by 849,000 to 6.5 million people in October. Last month, the labor force participation rate (62.7%) and employment-population rate (60.2%) changed little, the BLS report said.
Health care added 58,000 jobs in October, BLS reported, similar to average monthly gains of 53,000 in the last year.
Ambulatory health care services led the sector with 32,000 new jobs, while hospitals added 18,000 workers and nursing and residential care facilities grew by 8,000 in the workforce.
Offices of physicians added 12,600 jobs in October, while home health care services added 9,500 jobs, outpatient care centers added 8,100 workers and offices of other health practitioners added 4,400 jobs. Nursing and residential care facilities grew by 7,900 jobs in October. Offices of dentists dipped by 3,600 jobs, while medical and diagnostic laboratories declined by 1,100 jobs, according to BLS.
Government jobs gained 51,000 workers last month, reaching the pre-pandemic level of February 2020. Local government led the upward trend, adding 38,000 jobs.
Social assistance added 19,000 workers in October, less than the average monthly gain of 23,000 jobs in the last year. Individual and family services led that sector, adding 14,000 jobs.
There were 23,000 new jobs in construction, including 14,000 new positions in specialty trade contractors and 6,000 new building construction posts. The monthly gain topped the average of 18,000 new jobs over the previous 12 months.
Manufacturing dropped by 35,000 jobs last month, led by a decrease of 33,000 in motor vehicles and part “largely due to strike activity.” The report did not mention it specifically, but the United Auto Workers (UAW) made national news for striking at Ford Motor Co. plants starting in mid-September. This week, union members started voting on a new contract with Ford, with new draft contracts coming for General Motors and Stellantis, parent company of Jee and other cars, trucks and vans.
Among other sectors:
Nationally, President Joe Biden said the report is further proof of the success of “Bidenomics,” with 14 million new jobs since he took office and 150,000 new jobs last month. The jobless rate has been less than 4% for 21 months, the longest stretch in more than 50 years, and inflation is falling.
“Republicans in Congress should join me in growing the economy and reducing inflation – rather than making reckless threats to weaken our economy or prioritizing more tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations over essential programs for hardworking families, seniors, and our national security,” the president’s statement said.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) countered that the 3.9% jobless rate is the highest since early 2022, with fewer jobs added than expected and unemployment rising for women, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and those without a high school diploma.
“In short, today’s jobs report had no good news for the two-thirds of Americans who report living paycheck to paycheck – and it’s only getting worse from here,” said the RNC statement, “Jobs Report – ‘Bidenomics’ Sinks In,” by Jake Schneider.