Private sector hiring remained robust in October, as more than 100,000 new jobs were added to the national economy for the fourth consecutive month, providing further evidence that economic recovery is continuing at a steady pace.
According to the BLS’ “The Employment Situation – October 2012” report, 171,000 jobs were generated last month, once again exceeding economists’ projections. Prior to the release of the report, many economists expected 125,000 new jobs would be created.
However, some economists’ predictions regarding unemployment rate were precise, as the national jobless rate rose slightly, climbing from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. But, unlike other months, October’s rate hike may have been a direct result of another positive statistic – the nation’s civilian labor force increased by 578,000, indicating that Americans are not only returning to work, but discouraged workers are once again seeking employment after taking extended breaks from their job searches.
In fact, the total number of discouraged workers declined by 154,000 from October 2011 to October 2012 with the employment-population ratio rising to 58.8 percent, its highest level since August 2009. Furthermore, the total number of Americans employed part-time for economic reasons dropped by 269,000 last month, signifying that full-time employment is rising.
Although creation stalled during the second quarter, employment has steadily increased throughout the last four months. Since July, the economy has generated an average of 173,000 new jobs per month – an increase of 106,000 jobs, when compared to the second quarter’s monthly job creation average.
In addition, the BLS reported that job creation was much higher in August and September than originally thought. August’s total job creation rose considerably, from 142,000 to 192,000, as did September’s, climbing from 114,000 to 148,000.
New jobs have now been added to the national economy for 25 straight months. Since January, an average of 157,000 jobs have been generated on a monthly basis; to compare, 153,000 jobs were created per month in 2011.
Although wages remain low, average hourly earnings have risen throughout the past year, climbing by 1.6 percent, to $23.58. Additionally, according to the Department of Commerce, real gross domestic product (GDP) upturned at an annual rate of two percent during the third quarter, a slight improvement from the second quarter’s GDP increase of 1.3 percent.