According to the monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) report and Current Population Survey (CPS) from The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the U.S. in October 2023 slowed to 150,000 additional jobs , while the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9%. THE LAYOUT Job creation was strongest in the Education & Health Services (+89,000) and Government (+51,000) sectors, while Manufacturing (-35,000) shed the most jobs. The labor force participation rate fell slightly to 62.7% in October. The more expansive U-6 unemployment rate counts discouraged workers who are no longer actively seeking work (and therefore no longer in the labor force) and those that have settled for part-time employment but desire a full-time job. This measure of unemployment increased to 7.2%. Less than half of occupations (SOC Groups) and industry sectors (NAICS) saw an increase in job openings on Geographic Solutions state client sites. THE SIGNIFICANCE While some of the weakness in October’s report may be due to major labor strikes, the performance is disappointing across the board: Joblessness is up while the labor force participation rate is down, job gains softened while work hours and real wages declined (assuming the continued inflation trends of the three previous months). Those looking for a turning point in the overall economy may feel that the evidence in this report is piling up in their favor. However, the last six months show volatile job creation, going back and forth between strong and weak (see 1st chart). Next month could hold this pattern and change attitudes towards the economy once again.