October Report Shows Increase in Most Areas
The October 2010 employment report was recently released, and over the weekend I had a chance to browse some of the stats. In short, things were looking up for the month with increases in all major areas. Well, not every area. Let’s have a look at what’s good and what’s bad about the numbers for the everyday consumer:
- Jobs in the private sector increased by 159,000 over the month. This is the biggest increase we have seen in the private sector since April.
- The average earnings for workers were up (0.2%) in October.
- The number of average hours worked has also increased by 0.4%.
- While many areas added jobs to the private market, the government market continued to drop as more census workers completed their jobs in October.
- The unemployment rate remained unchanged (at 9.6%) despite the positive numbers.
While the October report is being hailed a good sign for employment, the truth is that we are still very far from where we should be nationally. Consumers should watch for a decrease in the overall unemployment rate as a sign of stability. This will ultimately have the biggest impact on home prices and interest rates.