The US economy grew by 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, according to the latest monthly employment picture from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday morning.
The total job gains were lower than the revised September figure of 315,000, and above the 200,000 forecast from economists surveyed by Refinitiv.
Economists had expected a smaller increase in unemployment, to just 3.6%. Still, it’s historically low — September’s 3.5% reading matched a half-century low.
While the 261,000 jobs added for October is the smallest monthly job gain for the US economy since December 2020, it is also a solid gain by historical standards. The economy added an average of 183,000 jobs a month during the decade before the pandemic.
The US labor market has remained very strong despite growing fears by many economists that a recession is looming and efforts by the Federal Reserve to moderate the pace of economic growth as a way to combat higher prices.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has warned that the economy may need to shed jobs if price pressures are to be brought under control, but so far the Fed’s string of big interest rate hikes has not stopped employers from seeking more help. The continued strength in the labor market could leave the door open for the Fed to continue raising interest rates at its upcoming meetings.
This story is in development and will be updated.