Job Growth Sends Unemployment to Six-Year Low

By Toni Vranjes

November 7, 2014

The jobless rate dropped yet again last month, reaching the lowest level since mid-2008.

Unemployment was at 5.8 percent in October, down from 5.9 percent in September, the Labor Department reported today. There was a lot of other positive news, also. Employers created 214,000 new jobs, as the labor force expanded by 416,000.

down_arrow_5_pt_8Also, the government’s revised employment numbers for August and September combined show 31,000 more jobs than earlier reported.

In October, employment at food and drinking establishments rose by 42,000. Other growth areas included professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.

Although there’s a lot in the report to encourage job seekers, it’s also good to delve deeper into the employment numbers. Economist Doug Handler wrote in a commentary that, “a deeper look at data by age dampens its impact on the economic growth forecast.”

An “unusually large share” of the labor-force growth came from the 16-to-19-year-old age group, which indicates that some of the growth may be attributable to “inherent survey noise,” wrote Handler, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight.

Handler also emphasized concerns about the quality of the new jobs. Many lower-paid jobs are being created, driven partly by the surge in teen employment, he noted.

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