161,000 Jobs Added to the Economy in October

Posted: Nov 04  |  By: Parker + Lynch

The Latest From the BLS Employment Report: 161,000 Jobs Added in October

The US economy added 161,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate dropped slightly, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate – which has held at 4.9 percent since the spring – inched up to 5 percent in September but has dropped back down to 4.9 percent this month.

In October, employment continued to trend up in healthcare, professional and business services, and financial services. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from 167,000 to 176,000 and the change for September was revised up from 156,000 to 191,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 44,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averages 176,000 per month.

Economists’ predictions

Economists predicted 175,000 additions ahead of this morning’s jobs report and the report did not quite meet expectations. 161,000 jobs were added this month which is nearly in line with the six months growth pattern.

jobs report

This Month’s Report

Let’s break down the numbers from this month’s report:

In October, hourly wages rose $0.10 to $25.92 per hour, bringing the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.8%. The unemployment rate dipped slightly at 4.9%.

  • Wages:
    • $25.92 October
    • $25.79 September
      • + 10 cents month-over-month
      • + 2.8% year-over-year
  • Unemployment:
    • 4.9% October
      • -0.1% month-over-month
      • -0.1% year-over-year
    • 5.0% September

What does this mean for the accounting and finance industry? Our in-depth analysis is below:

In-Depth Look: Accounting and Finance Jobs

Let’s take a look at how the Accounting and Finance industry is performing. Overall, industry subsectors saw job additions month-over-month. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Financial activities:
    • Month-over-month change: +14,000
    •  Year-over-year change: +172,000
  • Finance and Insurance:
    • Month-over-month change: +8,800
    • Year-over-year change: +116,000
  • Accounting and bookkeeping services:
    • Month-over-month change: +3,500
    • Year-over-year change: +38,300
  • Legal Services
    • Month-over-month change: -1,000
    • 1,500 jobs added since October of last year

The unemployment rate for financial services decreased slightly and now sits at 2.7% (-0.3% month-over-month). This average sits far lower than the national average.

While the low unemployment rate is great news for legal and accounting and finance job seekers, for employers it means hiring top talent is going to be challenging. To get ahead of your competitors and add exceptional professionals to your workforce, make sure you are offering a competitive salary.  Request a free copy of our 2017 Salary Guide – a comprehensive resource for salaries across the industry – to get the latest salary insights that will help you hire the industries top professionals.