Skip to main content

The Labor Department has spoken: U.S. payrolls rose by 80,000 in October and the unemployment rate retreated to 9 per cent from 9.1 per cent.

Is this good news? Clearly, the trend is moving in the right direction. Private sector employment grew by 104,000 last month and the previous two months saw total employment revised higher by 102,000 jobs. What's more, the decrease in the unemployment rate hadn't been anticipated by most economists, meaning that it comes as a positive surprise.

But as far as good news goes, this report is only so-so. Economists had actually been expecting more robust gains in overall employment last month, along with better growth in private sector employment, so the report is disappointing at that level. At the same time, after factoring in population growth and the fact that millions of Americans are unemployed, October's gains fail to make much of a dent in an overall grim labour market.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.