In October, the United States experienced a slight increase in temporary jobs, with 6,600 new positions, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this growth is relatively modest and could be subject to revision in the future. It's important to note that the number of temporary jobs is still significantly lower than its peak in March 2022, with a decrease of 229,000. As of October, the total number of temporary jobs in the country stood at 2.9 million. The percentage of temporary jobs compared to total employment, known as the temp penetration rate, remained unchanged at 1.88% between September and October.

Overall, nonfarm employment in the US increased by 150,000 jobs in October. Although this represents positive growth, it is lower than the average monthly gain of 258,000 jobs observed over the past year. The total nonfarm employment figure now sits at approximately 156.9 million.

Timothy Landhuis, VP of research at SIA, commented on the October jobs report, stating that it indicates a gradual cooling of the labor market in response to the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes. However, he also notes that the modest increase in temporary help services jobs in October is a welcome change after eight consecutive months of declines and may indicate that the industry is approaching a bottom.

In terms of unemployment, the overall rate in the US increased from 3.8% in September to 3.9% in October. However, the unemployment rate among college-level graduates, which can serve as an indicator of professional employment, remained unchanged at 2.1%.

Industries that saw job gains in October included healthcare (58,000 jobs), government (51,000 jobs), and social assistance (19,000 jobs). On the other hand, manufacturing employment declined by 35,000 jobs, primarily due to strike activity in the motor vehicles and parts sector.

According to Becky Frankiewicz, president and chief commercial officer of ManpowerGroup Inc., employers and employees are adopting a more cautious approach as the cooler months approach. The job market is stabilizing, with fewer people leaving their current roles compared to the height of the pandemic. While the tech sector is also experiencing a slowdown in growth, there is still demand for highly skilled positions such as app developers, cybersecurity experts, and data analysts.

In terms of wages, average hourly earnings for all nonfarm employees increased by seven cents to $34.00 in October, according to the BLS. For production and nonsupervisory employees, average hourly earnings rose by 10 cents to $29.19.  

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