By Jamie Zananiri

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for October 2021 has been released. The unemployment rate fell again, reaching a new Pandemic low, falling .2% from September to 4.6%. 531,000 jobs were added to the workforce in October, this time outpacing the economic forecast of 450,000. 

Widespread vaccine availability and the current Delta variant wave stagnating helped leisure and hospitality jobs to come out on top in October. 224,000 jobs were added to these sectors. They are still missing 1.4 million jobs from February 2020. The majority of job sectors saw gains, except for the public sector with the majority of job losses in state and local education. 

Wages stayed stagnant in October from September’s gains. Just as leisure and hospitality led the way in job gains in October, they also increased wages up .5% from September (they are now up nearly 11% from this time last year). Employers still struggling to fill roles would be well served to review their payroll budget to ensure they are offering competitive and fair wages.

The amount of people not a part of the workforce but looking for employment stayed steady at 6 million, but the number of people who said the pandemic was stopping them from seeking employment dropped from 1.6 million to 1.3 million. The jobs added in October were primarily filled by men (white and Hispanic), but Black and Asian men, along with women of all ethnicities, did not see gains in employment in October.

Key takeaways from October’s report? While unemployment claims are trending downward, savvy employers should be ensuring that they are appealing to diverse candidates, providing competitive compensation, and flexibility in both scheduling and remote work.

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