October Job Report Shows Gains!

November 8th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »

BAck to work

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is getting back in the usual rhythm and reporting employment numbers well beyond expectations. Economists had initially predicted that the number of jobs added to the economy would hover around 120,000 but a windfall 204,000 jobs were added to the job market in spite of the disconcerting air left in the wake of the government shutdown.

The employment gains were spread across several sectors but the majority of positive headway was made in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and professional services industry. Other industries, remained more or less static (which included the information industry). Information technology is split between the information and professional services industry, so, IT positions didn’t go negative but they also didn’t enjoy the full brunt of growth indicated by the job report.

Unemployment numbers, on the other hand, ticked down from the month before. Household surveys elicited an increase to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September. Additionally, the number of the temporarily unemployed swelled by 448,000, primarily due to the sizeable number of furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown.

Furthermore, there was a drop in the labor force participation rate, which plummeted from 63.2 percent to 62.8 percent, the lowest rate since March 1978. That means there was a decrease of about 720,000 people. Economists say that this is a symptom of the shutdown and not a harbinger of greater economic woes to come.

So, the initial impact of the government shutdown is a mixed bag. The hiring uncertainty predicted by the lion’s share of economists was a bit too preemptive but the unemployment and labor force participation drops left a mark. Ultimately, we still need to wait and see how holiday hiring across industries is affected before we can put the specter of the government shutdown to rest.