U.S. Economy Adds 150k Jobs in October, Unemployment Ticks Up U.S. Economy Adds 150k Jobs in October, Unemployment Ticks Up
October 2023 US Jobs Report graph

U.S. Economy Adds 150k Jobs in October, Unemployment Ticks Up

This morning, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released its initial jobs report for October 2023.

About the report:

Headlining today’s report, the U.S. economy added an estimated 150,000 jobs last month. That’s below the 170,000 jobs that economists surveyed by Wall Street Journal forecasted. But, it’s expected that the figures would have been closer to 180,000 jobs if not for the auto workers strike in October.

Despite that added payroll, the unemployment rate did tick up. The rate now sits at 3.9% versus 3.8% in September. October’s rate is the highest seen since early 2022.

In addition to the latest month’s figures coming in below expectations, the jobs numbers for some previous months were revised downward. September’s estimate was changed to 297,000, which is off 39,000 from the originally reported 336,000. Similarly, August’s numbers were slashed to 165,000 — a negative revision of 62,000 jobs. However, this downward adjustment follows a positive one last month. When August 2023’s report was initially released, it showed 187,000 jobs. Thus, this latest revision isn’t quite as dramatic as it may seem.

Notably, this report arrives on the heels of the Federal Reserve electing to leave interest rates untouched for the time being. Currently, these rates are the highest they’ve been in more than two decades.

Lastly, October saw a slight increase in the average hourly earnings of private nonfarm employees. That average rose by 7¢ or 0.2% last month and now sits at $34. Year over year, the average hourly wage has climbed 4.1%. Interestingly, that bests the 3.7% increase the Consumer Price Index has seen over the past 12 months (as of September 2023).

What they’re saying:

In a statement obtained by Marketwatch, Morning Consult senior economist Jesse Wheeler said of the report, “This is the first time in awhile that all the various indicators the jobs report tries to measure went in the same direction: cooling.”

Meanwhile, Principal Asset Management chief global strategist Seema Shah noted, “Today’s report suggests that the job market is, in fact, slowing. September seems to have been just a momentary upward blip in the jobs numbers.” Shah added, “This jobs report further increases the chances of no [Fed] move in December.”

My thoughts:

Obviously the biggest story with this month’s report is what it likely means in terms of interest rates. On that front, it does look as though the rate hikes we’ve been seeing over the past several months are likely done for at least a bit. At the same time, though, we’ve seen just how big these monthly revisions have been. Therefore, in my opinion, we may not actually have a solid snapshot of the economy for at least a couple more months.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Money@30's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

2023 Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Tops 2019 Highs

The latest small business credit card study from J.D. Power shows satisfaction continuing to rise. About the study and results: This week, J.D Power released its 2023 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which includes responses from more than 3,400 small business credit card customers. In this case, the study looked at businesses with annual revenues between $10,000 and $10 million. First, it was discovered that overall satisfaction among...

Discover Announces 5% Bonus Categories for First Quarter of 2024

With 2024 sneaking up on us, Discover has announced its rotating 5% bonus categories for the first quarter of next year. About the Q1 2024 bonus categories: From January through March 2024, Discover It customers will be able to earn up to 5% back in two categories: restaurants and drugstores. According to the company, the Restaurants category includes full-service establishments, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and dining delivery services. For the...

Public App Adds Corporate and Treasury Bonds Feature

The FinTech trading app Public has announced new investment options for its members. About the features: Public is now rolling out the ability for customers to invest fractionally in corporate and Treasury bonds. This capability will be introduced on both the mobile and desktop interfaces for the service. According to Public, the addition comes as demand for fixed-income products increases. In addition to these bond types, the app will also...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...
Summer app

Student Loan Benefit FinTech Summer Raises $6 Million

For years, student debt has been one of the most talked about financial topics. What's more, while the debt itself has become a major part of many Americans' lives, discussion of student loans has become political due to efforts to forgive certain loan repayments. However, while we wait for resolution on that front, a FinTech that brings student debt benefit solutions to employers and consumers has raised a new round...
H-E-B and Central Market  credit cards

Imprint Launches Credit Cards from H-E-B and Central Market 

The FinTech Imprint is partnering with the popular Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B for a pair of new rewards credit cards. This week saw the launch of the H-E-B Visa Signature Credit Card as well as the Central Market Visa Signature Credit Card. With these two (nearly identical) options, customers will be able to earn rewards on groceries and beyond. First, both versions of the card earn up to 5% back on select...
Melissa Urban holding a Ness card

Health and Wellness Rewards Card Ness Partners with Whole30

In recent years, several unique rewards cards have come to market. These include offerings from FinTech startups as well as brands looking to do something special for their loyal fans. On that note, a recently-announced rewards credit card offering is now working with a popular brand to introduce new benefits for customers. This week, the Ness Card (which is issued by The Bank of Missouri) unveiled a new partnership with...
Choice Privileges Select Card

Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card

With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand's new lineup. Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories....