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U.S. job market starts bouncing back in a big way

The delta variant slowed U.S. job growth over the summer, but in October, the job market bounced back in a big way.

Expectations heading into this morning showed projections of about 450,000 new jobs added in the United States in October. As it turns out, according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary tally suggests the job market was even stronger than expected. CNBC reported this morning:

The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in October while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, the Labor Department reported Friday. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 531,000 for the month, compared to the Dow Jones estimate of 450,000. The unemployment rate had been expected to edge down to 4.7%.

Nearly as important as the October totals were the revisions from the couple of months that preceded it: Job totals from August and September, which appeared disappointing after the preliminary reports were released, were both revised up significantly. The combined changes reflected an additional 235,000 previously unreported new jobs — on top of the 531,000 jobs created in October.

What's more, the unemployment rate has now improved to a 19-month low.

As for the political context, over the course of the first two years of Donald Trump's term — when the then-president said the United States' economy was the greatest in the history of the planet — the economy created roughly 4.5 million jobs.

In the first 10 months of Joe Biden's presidency, the U.S. economy has created 5.8 million jobs.

Ordinarily, I run a chart at the bottom of posts about the monthly jobs reports, but the job losses at the start of the pandemic were so severe, it's rendered the image largely meaningless. I'm retooling it in the hopes of making it useful again.