“U.S. Payrolls Rise 150,000 Despite Lower-Than-Expected Gain.
In a positive but seemingly underwhelming report, the U.S. Department of Labor has indicated that the number of payrolls rose by 150,000 in October, representing 0.1% of the total workforce. Though the number was better than expected, falling short of the predicted 160,000, it is still disheartening news for those hoping for a strong jobs recovery in the near future. The October numbers are of particular concern due to the ongoing pressure on the U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent shockwaves through the country’s labor market and impacted many different industries. The growth in payrolls is also being heavily weighed down by the fact that the leisure and hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit by stay-at-home orders and local restrictions, lost jobs for the month. Economists have said that the expected increase in payrolls, which was originally projected to be 205,000 before being revised down, was not sufficient enough to make up for the jobs lost since the pandemic began in March. According to the report, the unemployment rate remains stuck at six and a half percent, which rises to nine and a half percent when among those only seeking part-time work. The government has implemented a number of measures to help cushion the blow of the pandemic on the economy, including stimulus checks and extensions to unemployment benefits for those unable to return to their jobs. However, many economists fear that the continued slow pace of job growth could spell trouble for the labor market if it continues on its current trajectory. Despite the dip from the expected numbers and the overall slowdown, there is hope that the economic picture could improve in the coming months. Financial experts say that with the rollout of a number of COVID-19 vaccines, the prospects of life gradually returning to normal could help to spur a more significant job growth come 2021. Until these predictions can be tested, however, the job market will continue to nervously wait for any sign of improvement.