In the wake of the federal government shutdown that occurred earlier this month, some may have been holding their breath about this month’s job report. However, the 16-day-long suspension did not seem to have too much of an impact on the country’s employment in October.
Overall, October’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000, which is well above economists’ expectations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At the same time, the country’s unemployment rate did not fluctuate drastically, inching up 0.1 percent and bringing it to 7.3 percent.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the October report might provide Fed officials with more incentive to start pulling back on their $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program in December. However this would depend on continued pickup in job growth and hiring. The next jobs report for the month of November, to be released Dec. 6, will be especially important in accessing the employment landscape.
Among the most impressive industry performances this past month was in professional and technical positions, as this sector saw employment rise by more than 21,000 jobs. This brings these services’ total employment growth over the last year to 213,000. Within this field, employment in management and technical consulting services climbed by 8,000 positions in October, according to the BLS.
While continuous development in the professional and managerial workforce is encouraging, growth appears to be slowing down compared to a year ago. Last year, professional and business services added 53,000 jobs in October 2012. This October, on the other hand, the segment contributed 44,000 employment opportunities to the nation’s economy.
In light of this, some may interpret the drop in job creation rate to be disheartening. Though these figures reveal a downward trend in terms of long-term market performance, it is important to keep in mind that the October 2013 report also indicated that this industry has managed to bounce back from a more recent nosedive that the sector took the previous month.
Though some economists had anticipated a fair amount of residual shutdown effects to plague October employment, it seems as if the economy did not take that much of a blow. A number of experts may now posit that the general employment market was destined to grow even more and that the suspension hampered economic expansion. However, others may look at certain sectors, like that of professional and business services, and view their improved performance from the past month or so as an encouraging sign.