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October 2015

Posted On11/18/2015

ContributorShirin Miller

Nelson Jobs Report

Total employment increased by 271,000 jobs in October, an increase over the prior 12 months, in which employment growth had averaged 230,000 per month. The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0%. Job gains occurred in:

Professional and business services

  • Employment in professional and business services increased by 78,000 jobs in October, compared with an average gain of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Within this category, major job gains occurred in:
    • Administrative and support services, which increased by 46,000 jobs.
    • Computer systems design and related services, which increased by 10,000 jobs.
    • Architectural and engineering services, which saw an increase of 8,000 jobs in October.


  • Healthcare added 45,000 jobs in October, with growth focused on ambulatory healthcare services and in hospitals.

Retail Trade

  • Employment in the retail trade rose by 44,000 jobs in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 25,000 over the prior 12 months. Job gains primarily occurred in:
    • Clothing and accessories stores, which increased by 20,000 jobs.
    • General merchandise stores, which increased by 11,000 jobs.
    • Automobile dealers, which increased by 6,000 jobs.

Food Services

  • Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October. Over the year, the industry has added 368,000 jobs.


  • Construction employment increased by 31,000 jobs in October, with nonresidential specialty trade contracting seeing the greatest increase at 21,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 233,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.

The average workweek for all employees was 34.5 hours in October and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 9 cents to $25.20. (Hourly earnings have risen by 2.5% over the year.)

What we’re seeing out there is the return of employee churn. The quit rate continues to rise steadily, reflecting growing confidence by workers in their prospects. There are still more openings than hires, producing the most favorable environment for job seekers that we’ve seen in a while.