WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2014) — Nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. grew by 214,000 jobs in October, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The unemployment rate also fell in October, to 5.8 percent from September's 5.9 percent, the BLS said in its Nov. 7 report.
The biggest employment gains in October occurred in food and drinking places (up 42,000 jobs), professional and business services (up 37,000 jobs), retail trade (up 27,000 jobs) and healthcare (up 25,000 jobs). Within retail trade, automobile dealers saw job numbers grow by 4,000 during the month.
After wavering reports for much of the year, manufacturing showed strong growth in October, adding 15,000 jobs during the month. Machinery, furniture and related products, and semiconductors and electronic components saw especially good growth.
Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, noted that the U.S. has gained 218,000 manufacturing jobs since the beginning of President Barack Obama's second term, as compared with the gain in 1 million manufacturing jobs the president promised during the four years of his term.
“The good news is that manufacturing jobs have grown over the past few months,” Mr. Paul said in a press release. “The bad news is that they haven't grown fast enough.”
President Obama's hopes of creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs are fading fast, according to Mr. Paul. “Without some progress on the trade deficit and a long-term infrastructure plan, I don't see that changing.”
The public shouldn't be fooled by the apparent brightness of the October manufacturing jobs picture, according to Alan Tonelson, president and founder of RealityChek.
Manufacturing's percentage of U.S. jobs remains stuck at an all-time low of 8.72 percent, Mr. Tonelson said.
“Real wages fell on month and remain weaker than total private sector wages, and nondurable goods industries have not created a single net new job since April 2010,” he said.
The BLS employment report came two days after the monthly report by payroll services company ADP Inc., which uses its own payroll data to determine employment figures. The firm said total private nonfarm employment grew by 230,000 jobs in October.
Small businesses — those with fewer than 50 employees — created 102,000 jobs in October, and medium-sized businesses (50-499 employees) added 122,000, ADP said. But large businesses (500 employees or more) created only 6,000 jobs during the month, it said.