Employment Update

October 2021 Employment Landscape Overview

The American employment landscape is constantly changing. Our team at Acara is here to break down the numbers and explain the latest developments in the job market each month. Keep up-to-date with the most recent trends with our monthly Employment Landscape Overview. All data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the America Staffing Association.

  • Unemployment rate declined by 0.2%

    The unemployment rate edged down by 0.2 percentage point to 4.6 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 7.4 million, continued to trend down. Both measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession.

  • Long-term unemployed decreased by 357,000

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 357,000 to 2.3 million but is 1.2 million higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 31.6 percent of the total unemployed.

  • Labor force participation rate unchanged

    The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6 percent in October and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. The participation rate is 1.7 percentage points lower than in February 2020.

  • Average hourly earnings rose $0.11

    The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $30.96, following large increases in the prior 6 months.

  • Number of permanent job losers 828,000 higher than Feb. 2020

    Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers, at 2.1 million, changed little but is 828,000 higher than in February 2020. The number of persons on temporary layoff, at 1.1 million, was little changed over the month.

  • GDP projected to increase 4.8%

    Economists surveyed in November projected GDP in 4Q 2021 will increase 4.8%. The Wall Street Journal conducts an Economic Forecasting Survey among a group of nearly 80 economists on more than 10 major economic indicators on a quarterly basis, including GDP.

  • Temp penetration rate at 1.87%

    Temporary help employment was 1.87% of total nonfarm employment in October, up from 1.82 last month.

  • Temp help jobs increased 10%

    Temporary help jobs in October increased 10.0%, seasonally adjusted, from the same month last year.

  • Nonfarm payroll employment up by 531,000

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 531,000 in October.

Access Acara's Employment Update in PDF Format

Industry Trends

Acara summarizes the latest industry trends each month to keep you informed as you make decisions about the future of your business.

  • 91% work some hours remotely and hope that continues

    91 percent of workers in the U.S. working at least some of their hours remotely are hoping their ability to work at home persists.

    Overall, 54 percent of employees who work remotely at least some of the time say they would ideally like to split their time in a hybrid arrangement. A little over a third would like to work from home exclusively, while 9 percent want to return to the office full time.

  • 45% worked from home

    45 percent of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either all (25 percent) or part of the time (20 percent) in Gallup's September update of its monthly employment trends. Two-thirds of employees in white-collar jobs (67 percent) reported working from home either exclusively (41 percent) or some of the time (26 percent) in September.

  • 3 million baby boomers were pushed into retirement

    The pandemic pushed more than 3 million baby boomers into premature retirement. The total number of people who left the workforce during the pandemic—including the 3 million early retirees—is around 5.25 million.

  • Retirements among workers ages 65-69 were up 5%

    Studies show that older Americans are delaying Social Security upon retirement. According to the Social Security Administration, the number of workers applying for Social Security benefits over the last 12 months fell 5 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Yet during the same period, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that retirements among workers ages 65 to 69 were up 5 percent.

  • 28% ghosted an employer

    28 percent of candidates ghosted an employer during 2020, which is up from 18 percent in 2019. Two-thirds of candidates ghost potential employers because they found a job with higher wages or better benefits.

    76% of employers reported being ghosted this year. 57% of employers believe it's even more common than before.

  • 52% of employees who accept a counteroffer leave in a year or less.

    82 percent of business leaders are finding themselves extending counteroffers to try to retain employees. Despite their attempts, 52 percent of employees who accept a counteroffer leave in a year or less. Of this group, 20 percent of these employees leave in less than six months.

Experience the Acara difference.

Learn how large businesses are handling employee COVID-19 vaccinations.

View Infographic