The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) report and Current Population Survey (CPS) for October 2021 on Friday, November 5th. The monthly change in employment given by the CES and the unemployment rate from the CPS are seen as the standard gauges for assessing the health of the U.S. labor market. The results mark 20 months since the Covid-19 economic lockdown. Employment in the U.S. rose by 531,000 jobs. While an acceleration of job growth was expected, the pace was somewhat higher than most expectations with the Geographic Solutions, Inc. forecast at 353,000 and the WSJ Economist Survey projection at 450,000 jobs. The results are a welcomed change from the previous two months. Even though Leisure & Hospitality again led the way, job growth was across-the-board in the private sector, most likely due to falling Covid-19 cases since the peak of the Delta surge in September. The Geographic Solutions forecast was derived from internal data on the number of job openings and job searchers. The forecast used unemployment claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, matching the Geographic Solutions forecast. The WSJ forecast of 4.7% was slightly higher. The unemployment rate forecast used internal data on the number of job openings, job severances, job applications, job searchers, and the number of applications for unemployment benefits filed on Geographic Solutions state client sites. Job creation was strongest in Leisure & Hospitality (164,000), including 119,000 in Food Services & Drinking Places. Professional & Business Services and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities each grew by approximately 100,000 new jobs for the month. Government employment fell once again as the seasonal abnormalities in state and local education have persisted into October. October was a milestone for industry-by-industry employment. The Financial Activities sector became the first to fully recover its employment level from February 2020. A few other industries are approaching their pre-pandemic levels which we are watching closely to see how the labor market has shifted during the recovery. October was a milestone for industry-by-industry employment. The Financial Activities sector became the first to fully recover its employment level from February 2020. A few other industries are approaching their pre-pandemic levels which we are watching closely to see how the labor market has shifted during the recovery. The U-3 unemployment rate is the standard form of measuring unemployment in the U.S. labor market and includes those that are actively seeking a job but unable to find one. The U-3 unemployment rate declined to 4.6% from the previous month. The labor force participation rate held steady at 61.6% from the previous month. 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 fell 0.2% to 8.3%. Declines in the unemployment rates with a steady labor force participation rate along with healthy job numbers in the CES report indicate that the labor market is shaking off some of the slack experienced in the early fall.