November 6, 2020

October 2020 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 6.9 percent

Jobs Created: 638,000

Employment and Unemployment

  1. DOL reported the unemployment rate fell 1.0 percentage point to 6.9% in October.

  2. Nonfarm jobs increased by 638,000 in October, marking the sixth consecutive month of job gains. The economy has recovered more than half of the jobs lost this spring.

  3. In August and September, job creation was stronger than originally reported. The department revised the change in nonfarm jobs for those months up by a combined 15,000 jobs.      

  4. The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure that includes part-time and discouraged workers, dropped 0.7 percentage point to 12.1% in October.

  5. The Department of Labor bases monthly jobs reports on a survey of businesses and a survey of households. The survey data relate to the pay period or calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. The report generally will not reflect labor market changes near the end of the month.

  6. As of mid-October, a majority of states had reopened or continued reopening plans, while some states had paused their plans or placed new restrictions on certain types of businesses. Later in the month, a few more states paused or added restrictions on certain businesses due to increases in coronavirus cases.

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate, the share of people employed or looking for work, rose 0.3 percentage point to 61.7%.


  1. In October, average hourly earnings for all employees in private nonfarm jobs increased by $0.04 to $29.50.

Issue Tags: Labor, COVID-19