Let's start with the bad news:
- Nonfarm payrolls for October fell 190,000, which is worse than the decline of 175,000 that had been widely forecast.
- Job losses for the previous month were upwardly revised to reflect nonfarm job losses of 219,000.
- The unemployment rate surged to 10.2%, which is up from 9.8% and higher than the 9.9% that was widely forecast. It also marks the highest unemployment rate since 1982.
- The manufacturing sector saw payrolls drop by 61,000. This is worse than the 45,000 jobs lost in the prior month.
- A drop of 190,000 is bad but it is still an improvement over the previous month's 219,000
- Average weekly hourly hours were unchanged at 33.0, which is a bit below the 33.1 that had been forecast. At least there was no decrease.
- Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% month-over-month, which is stronger than the 0.1% monthly increase that had been expected.
- Less jobs were cut in October than the previous month in the following sectors: builders, financial firms and service industries which include banks, insurance companies, restaurants and retailers
- Temporary workers rose by 34,000, the first gain since December 2007. Temp workers are the first to be brought back after a downturn so we can hope this signals that we are nearing the beginnings of a recovery in the job market.
Today's report also confirms that the "less bad" scenario continues to apply. But I'll take "less bad" over "worse" any day.