The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today (11-5-21) that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 531,000 in October, following a disappointing 194,000 in September, an increase of 235,000 in August, a revised 1.1 million in July, and a revised 962,000 increase in June. Nonfarm payroll employment has increased by 18.2 million since April 2020 but remains -4.2 million, or -2.8%, below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. Employment in public education, however declined once again during the month.
The unemployment rate dropped -0.2% to 4.6%, and the number of unemployed persons declined to 7.4 million. Both measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. However, they remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020.)
Construction employment rose by 44,000 in October, following an increase of 30,000 in September. In October, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+19,000) and in heavy civil engineering construction (+12,000). Construction employment still remains -150,000 below its February 2020 level.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — OCTOBER 2021