|Where did all the workers go? Maybe they’re coming back finally. We’ll know more when we get the October jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday. We got a preview of that report yesterday from the payroll company ADP
Details: ADP’s monthly survey of payrolls for October showed payrolls rose 571,000. This is a strong showing, and perhaps a signal more workers are taking open positions.
Looking ahead: The BLS report could be similarly strong, although the numbers don’t always match up. In September, ADP had payrolls rising by 523,000 jobs, but BLS reported jobs rose only 194,000 – at least initially. That figure could be revised upward on Friday.
- The topline number of jobs created in October will get the headlines. But just as important is to look at the labor force participation figure. We have a huge number of job openings (10.4 million), but the workforce fell by 183,000 in September. Most forecasters thought people would come back to the labor force as enhanced federal jobless benefits ended.
Bottom line: We need workers to come back to fill all the open positions. We’ll have a better sense if that’s happening on Friday.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce