The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Nov. 4, 2022

Jobs were up last month, but so was unemployment

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Despite the Federal Reserve’s ongoing campaign of aggressive interest rate hikes and rising worries they could tip the economy into a recession, U.S. employers continued to hire last month, the Labor Department’s latest jobs report shows. The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, a slowdown from September’s upwardly revised gain of 315,000, but more than the 205,000 economists had expected.

At the same time, 306,000 more people became jobless, bumping the unemployment rate from 3.5% to 3.7%, the same as it was in August. This could be a sign that monetary tightening by the Fed is beginning to hurt the economy, as it is meant to. However, that figure remains low by historical standards and is still near pre-pandemic levels. 

Now you might be thinking, how can jobs and unemployment both rise? Well, they’re actually based on two separate surveys—one of employers, the other of households. Employers (generally viewed as the more accurate of the two) said the economy added jobs, and households said they were lost. 

The mixed signals left some economists scratching their heads, but taken together offer a distinct impression that while the labor market is still good for workers, it could get harder to find and hang on to jobs.

“No one should be concerned that the U.S. labor market is about to start sinking,” Nick Bunker, head of economic research at job-hunting site Indeed, said in a commentary. “Joblessness is still low and job growth is strong, but today’s report shows it may be springing some leaks.”

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employment Situation Summary."

  2. MarketWatch. "U.S. Economics Calendar."

  3. Federal Reserve Economic Data. "Unemployment Rate."

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