By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — The U.S. economy created a net 638,000 nonfarm jobs in the month through mid-October, in a stronger-than-expected start to a quarter that looks set to be overshadowed by the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.
Nonfarm payrolls had been expected to rise by 600,000. As such the actual number represents only a modest slowdown in job creation from an upwardly-revised 672,000 in September.
The unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point to 6.9% of the workforce.
The report is a sign of the labor market’s resilience in the face of rising coronavirus cases, all the more so since 147,000 jobs tied to the 2020 census were lost during the month. Most encouragingly, the labor force participation rate rose to 61.7% of the population, having fallen to a four-month low of 61.4% in September. That may alleviate concerns that the improvement in the headline jobless numbers are due above all to people giving up the hunt for work.
U.S. stock futures responded brightly to the numbers, with rising some 0.5% in the 15 minutes after the release.
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