Lewiston-Auburn Jobs Report

October 2023 Jobs Report

Jobs Added

Metro +400
  • Month Over Month: +0.8%
  • 3 Month Average: 100
  • Year Over Year: +1.0%
State -100
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 467
  • Year Over Year: +1.0%
National +150,000
  • Month Over Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 204,000
  • Year Over Year: +1.9%

Unemployment Rate

Metro 2.7%
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 2.7%
  • Year Over Year: +0.2%
State 2.7%
  • Month Over Month: +0.2%
  • 3 Month Average: 2.53%
  • Year Over Year: -0.3%
National 3.9%
  • Month Over Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 3.83%
  • Year Over Year: +0.2%

US unemployment rate surprises while October’s hiring slows

The US labor market saw just 150,000 jobs added last month, falling below what many experts predicted.

Amidst the overall slowdown, two industries in particular held strong. The healthcare industry added 58,000 jobs – as did government hiring which met pre-pandemic levels with 51,000 jobs added.

In addition, September’s surge now seem to signal a market cooldown, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised them downward 39,000 jobs.

October’s Jobs Report, however, held a few more surprises: The unemployment rate rose to its highest level since January 2022. Average hourly wages saw an 0.2% increase, while the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7%.

Strikes hit the unemployment rate

In October, employment in manufacturing dropped by 35,000 jobs – which is almost entirely due to automotive strikes across the US.

That’s because the BLS counts striking workers, who are not receiving any kind of benefits, as unemployed.

The nearly 50,000 workers striking have upended operations for US automakers and also a played a role in October’s rising unemployment rate. In the past two weeks, the United Auto Workers union has been reaching tentative deals with Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors, so November manufacturing will likely bounce back.

The strike conundrum isn’t the only quirk in how BLS figures in data. It also adjusts for seasonal changes in hiring – such as retail during the holiday shopping season or construction when weather is cooperative.

Its final unemployment numbers also leave out key groups: Part-time workers looking for full-time positions, students, retirees, family caregivers who stay at home, and others who haven’t looked for a job in the past four weeks.

Adecco Senior Vice President Amy Glaser spoke to CNBC earlier this week about the current jobs market, specifically about the increase in part-time hiring over the summer.

“Employers are creating more part-time opportunities that are bringing in players off the bench,” Glaser said. “There’s still a bit of caution on the side of employers, and they’re choosing to open part-time roles in this wait-and-see mentality.”

In October, employers finally overcame that hesitation with full-time jobs growing by 326,000 jobs.

Understanding how data works for you

The unemployment rate is just one indicator for the health of the job market. Depending on your industry and your location, you might need more insights into what obstacles are preventing you from finding great talent.

Reach out to us today and let’s discuss how to find a better way to attract workers. It might be that a competing employer is grabbing up your local talent. Sometimes, your location and a lack of reliable transportation is the real obstacle – or, your wage rates aren’t aligned with the Cost of Living.

Don’t wait until 2024 to get a jump on rethinking your staffing strategies. Today’s seasonal workers will be looking for a new job opportunity in a few weeks, so it’s critical to be ready to hire them. Reach out today!

Want to learn more about October’s numbers? See what our experts had to say to CNN and U.S. News & World Report.

Local Industry Job Growth from the B.L.S.

Finance & Insurance -200
  • From Last Month: -0.8%
  • 3 Month Average: 26
  • From Last Year: -1.1%
Accommodation & Food Services -1,700
  • From Last Month: -2.9%
  • 3 Month Average: 56
  • From Last Year: -1.1%
Manufacturing -100
  • From Last Month: -1.9%
  • 3 Month Average: 5
  • From Last Year: -1.9%
Retail Trade -100
  • From Last Month: -1.7%
  • 3 Month Average: 6
  • From Last Year: -3.3%
  • From Last Month: %
  • 3 Month Average: 0
  • From Last Year: %
Goods Producing -100
  • From Last Month: -1.2%
  • 3 Month Average: 8
  • From Last Year: -1.2%
Hospitals +100
  • From Last Month: +0.3%
  • 3 Month Average: 32
  • From Last Year: +3.2%
  • From Last Month: %
  • 3 Month Average: 0
  • From Last Year: %

U.S. Job Growth for All Sectors

Local Job Reports

BLS.gov cannot vouch for the data or analyses derived from these data after the data have been retrieved from BLS.gov.