Randstad Jobs Report: October 2015

  • jobs & the economy
  • November 11, 2015

Hiring surges as businesses add 271,000 new jobs in October

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' October 2015 Employment Situation Summary shows some of the strongest figures and positive economic indicators seen in recent months — job gains increased substantially as businesses hired new workers at the fastest pace of the year, average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm employees increased and the unemployment rate edged downward.

The economy generated 271,000 new jobs in October, topping most economists’ projections. The majority of hiring came from the nation’s private sector, specifically within healthcare, financial activities and the temporary help services segment.

In other welcomed news, hourly pay rose at the fastest year-over-year pace since the U.S. emerged from the recession in mid-2009, and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 5 percent. All of this leads many economists and investors to believe Federal officials will raise interest rates come December.

Randstad's U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI)

Randstad’s U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI) remained largely unchanged in Q3 2015, falling just one-tenth of a percentage point from 61.9 last quarter to 61.8. However, employee confidence remains exceptionally high, with 2015 marking the first year the U.S. ECI has reached 60.0 points or higher since the survey’s inception in 2004.

U.S. Job Gains

U.S. employers added 271,000 jobs in October, well above economists’ expectations and the healthiest numbers so far in 2015. Nonfarm payrolls for August and September were also revised up by a combined 12,000. This latest stretch of hiring marks the 61st consecutive month of job gains, the record for any expansion in U.S. history.

U.S. Unemployment Rate

The U.S. unemployment rate has declined to 5 percent, the lowest since April 2008. In addition, the underemployment rate – which includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want to work but have given up looking – dropped to 9.8 percent, the lowest since May 2008.

U.S. Unemployment Rate by Industry

The rebound in hiring in October was driven primarily by professional and business services, which gained 78,000 jobs in October compared with an average gain of 52,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. Within the sector, administrative and support services added 46,000 jobs and computer systems design gained 10,000. Healthcare added 45,000 jobs in October, bringing the total number of job increases to 495,000 over the past year. Employment in retail trade rose by 44,000 in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 25,000 over the prior 12 months.

Temporary Help Services Sector

The temporary help services sector was another big winner in October’s job report, adding 24,500 new jobs which was a 0.8 percent increase from September and 4.1 percent increase from one year ago. The market share for the sector also increased to 2.05 percent in October, representing a 0.0133 percentage point gain from September – a fairly substantial gain for this particular metric.

Average Weekly Earnings

Much anticipated news finally arrived regarding workers’ pay in October. Average hourly earnings rose to $25.20, increasing by 2.5 percent from one year earlier and the most in more than six years. Hourly earnings gains have been stuck at around 2 percent throughout the recent economic expansion.

The astounding rate of hiring in October by U.S. companies helped lift wages and give Federal officials more fuel to raise interest rates next month. In addition to the 9 cent bump in workers’ hourly pay, the number of people joining the workforce is increasing and the number of unemployed fell. The labor-force participation rate held steady at 62.4 percent in October as more people joined the labor force and found jobs. Meanwhile, the number of individuals unemployed in the labor market dropped by 7,000.