After an increase in September, the prime employment rate fell slightly to 78.8 percent in October. Even with an unemployment rate just above 4 percent, the labor market won’t be at full employment until the employment rate further strengthens.
Racial and ethnic unemployment gaps didn’t close in October, but the trend during the expansion has been a reduction in these gaps.
The weak wage growth in October is likely due to employees returning to work after the recent hurricanes. However, other data sources show continued tepid wage growth.
Not much change in the reasons for unemployment in October. Keep an eye on workers unemployed due to leaving their past job, a sign of worker confidence and bargaining power.
October saw further reduction in the share of the unemployed without a job for 15 weeks or more. Note, however, that the long-term unemployed are still an elevated share of the unemployed.