WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers accelerated their hiring last month, adding a solid 531,000 jobs, the most since July and a sign that the recovery from the pandemic recession is overcoming a virus-induced slowdown.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month from 4.8% in September. That is a comparatively low level though still well above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%. And the job gains in August and September weren’t as weak as initially reported: The government increased its estimate of hiring for those two months by a hefty combined 235,000 jobs.
All told, the figures point to an economy that is steadily recovering from the pandemic recession, with healthy consumer spending prompting companies in nearly every industry to add workers. Though the effects of COVID-19 are still causing severe supply shortages, heightening inflation and keeping many people out of the workforce, employers are finding gradually more success in filling near record-high job postings.