It wasn’t that long ago when we desperately hoped the economy would be strong enough to create 200,000 jobs a month. Now, for the first time in 14 years, it’s happened nine months in a row.
The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 214,000 jobs in October. The overall unemployment rate also dropped a little more to 5.8% – the lowest since July 2008, which was over six years ago.
Once again, public-sector layoffs did not drag down the overall employment figures. Though jobs reports over the last few years have shown monthly government job losses, in October, the private sector added 209,000 while the public sector added 5,000. The latter may not sound like much, but after several years in which that total was negative, it’s at least somewhat heartening.
As for the revisions, all of the news was positive: August’s totals were revised up from 180,000 to 203,000, while September’s figures were revised up, from 248,000 to 256,000. Combined, that’s an additional 31,000 jobs.
For the right, which is still under the illusion that President Obama’s tax breaks and health care law are destroying the economy, this is yet another jobs report that will be very difficult to explain.
All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.64 million jobs overall and 2.58 million in the private sector. What’s more, October was the 56th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth – the longest on record.
At this point, with the calendar year nearly over, 2014 is still very much on track to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 1999.
Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Second Update: OK, one more chart, this time showing the unemployment rate since Obama took office.
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Job totals steady in October, unemployment drops once again