October jobs report cheat sheet
After a weak jobs report in September that was originally reported as a loss of 33,000 jobs (it was recently revised to a gain of 18,000 jobs) the job market rebounded in October to the tune of 261,000 jobs added by U.S. employers. September was an anomaly due to Harvey in Houston and Irma in Florida so it was encouraging to see the jobs market return to recent trends and continue the streak of job gains to 85 straight months.
Although the report missed Wall Street expectations of 310,000 jobs, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1%, the lowest it has been since 2000 in the midst of the internet bubble. More surprising than the low rate is the steep decline in the rate we have seen in 2017. We started the year at 4.8% unemployment and it has fallen by 0.7 percentage points. Compared to 2016, which stayed relatively flat, 2017 has seen a significant decline.
What this means for hiring
As the unemployment rate hovers around historically low levels, attracting talent continues to become more and more difficult. But there is a silver lining. Low unemployment and increased confidence in the economy typically makes employees more open to exploring new opportunities. The key for talent acquisition professionals is to engage this talent early, when they are beginning to look around.
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