U.S. Economy Adds 261,000 Jobs in October 2017 while Unemployment Drops to 4.1 Percent

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 261,000 jobs in October 2017 while the unemployment rate and number of unemployed persons dropped to 4.1 percent and 6.5 million during the month, according to the Employment Situation released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The jobs report for October 2017 revealed a sharp increase for employment in food services and drinking places, offsetting a decline in September caused by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Employment also increased in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.

  • Food services and drinking places employment rose by 89,000 jobs following a decrease of 98,000 job in September when many workers were off payrolls due to the hurricanes.
  • Professional and business services employment added 50,000 jobs in October, in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.
  • Manufacturing employment rose by 24,000 jobs in October, and has added 156,000 jobs since a recent employment low in November 2016.
  • Health care employment added 22,000 jobs in October and has added an average of 24,000 jobs per month thus far in 2017, compared with an average gain of 32,000 per month in 2016.
  • Employment in other major industries including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little in October.

The change in employment for August 2017 was revised from 169,000 to 208,000 jobs added while September 2017 was revised from 33,000 jobs lost to 18,000 jobs added. With the revisions, employment gains in these two months were 90,000 jobs more than previously reported.

The Employment Situation report is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The Employment Situation for November 2017 is scheduled to be released on December 8, 2017. Until then, the latest report is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF).

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