WASHINGTON (Nov. 6, 2015) — The U.S. economy continued to chug along last month, nearly doubling the number of jobs created from the previous month while beating the prognostications of many economists.
Total nonfarm employment rose by 271,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate inched down to 5 percent from 5.1, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Sectors posting large job gains were professional and business services (up 78,000); healthcare (up 45,000); retail sales (up 44,000); food services and drinking places (up 42,000); and construction (up 31,000), the BLS said. However, other sectors — including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and mining — were either little changed or slightly down.
Nevertheless, the BLS October job results were better than economists predicted. The figures from payroll services firm ADP Inc., which compiles its statistics from its own payroll records, was closer to projections with its figure of 182,000 new jobs in October.
Nearly half the jobs generated in October — 90,000 — came from small businesses, according to ADP. Some 50,000 were generated by companies of 1 to 19 employees, and 41,000 by companies of 20-49 employees, it said.
Medium-sized businesses — 50 to 499 employees — accounted for 63,000 new jobs, while large businesses — 500 employees or more — generated only 29,000, ADP said.
Franchise jobs were up 52,500 jobs in October, with 10,260 of them generated by auto parts operations and dealerships, ADP said.
Despite the greater-than-expected job figures, various groups said there was little reason for joy.
Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, noted that manufacturing jobs were absolutely flat in October.
“Underneath the euphoria over a good topline employment number is this fact: Manufacturing hasn't gained a single net job since January,” Mr. Paul said. “That's terrible news for our economy.”
William C. Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, said the NFIB's Small Business Economic Trends Report also showed dismal job creation numbers.
“Job creation came to a halt in October likely because small business owners are still consumed by a large cloud of uncertainty and cannot find qualified workers to fill their open positions,” Mr. Dunkelberg said.
The NFIB's October economic report was based on the responses of 1,411 small businesses, the NFIB said.