WASHINGTON (The Hill): The U.S. added 531,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 4.6 percent as the country began to shake off a summer surge of COVID-19, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The October jobs report showed the labor market rebounding after the July emergence of the delta coronavirus variant, exceeding economists’ expectations. Analysts projected the U.S. to gain roughly 450,000 last month and see the unemployment rate drop to 4.7 percent.
Policymakers and economists were hopeful that job growth in October would accelerate after falling far short of expectations in July and August. The beginning of the delta surge toward the middle of the summer derailed a labor market that added more than 1 million workers in June, but optimism rose for stronger October job gains as cases began to fall in September.
The release of the October jobs report comes at a crucial stretch for President Biden and Democrats, who are attempting to cement major pillars of his economic agenda in the House before Thanksgiving. The president and his party are attempting to regain popular support after Republican candidates outperformed expectations in elections across the U.S. Tuesday.