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US unemployment drops to 6.9 per cent

Christopher Rugaber
·1-min read

US employers added 638,000 jobs in October, a solid pace though far fewer than needed to regain most of the jobs lost to the pandemic recession just as new coronavirus cases are setting record highs.

The report on Friday from the Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent from 7.9 per cent in September.

Still, the country now has 10.1 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic intensified in March.

October's gain was slightly below the 672,000 jobs added in September and the 1.5 million in August.

But last month's gain was stronger than it appears: it was held down by the loss of about 150,000 temporary Census jobs.

Excluding governments, private employers added a healthy 906,000 jobs.

Job growth was particularly strong in construction, retail, and a category that includes restaurants and hotels.