Both surveys are speaking with the same voice this month, showing solid employment growth. On the payroll side, 171,000 jobs were added with revisions to prior months’ data increasing the payroll count by an additional 84,000 jobs. In the household survey, unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent, but that was not due to deterioration in employment – the share of the working age population with a job ticked up by one-tenth of a percentage point.
October marks the three-year anniversary of the highest unemployment rate of the Great Recession and its aftermath, 10.0 percent in October 2009. The unemployment rate has improved to 7.9 percent in the last three years but still has a long way to go to get back to full employment.