These days, a “good” jobs report isn’t one where tons of people got hired in a given month.
That might seem ironic, given that hiring is often taken as a sign of an economy’s strength. But after a remarkable recovery from the pandemic-induced recession, monthly job gains have, for the most part, remained surprisingly robust.
That’s been somewhat problematic because strong job gains can be counterproductive to the Federal Reserve’s goal of getting inflation down to its target of 2%, since it can lead to higher wages.
But October’s jobs report, which showed that 150,000 people were hired, could be interpreted as the ideal level of gains. It’s still quite a robust number, but at the same time, it’s a big decline from September’s downwardly revised 297,000 gains.
While it may feel discouraging for job seekers to come across fewer job openings, it’s actually a good sign for them, Kermit Schoenholtz, New York University professor emeritus and the former chief economist at Citigroup, previously told CNN.
Job seekers would be much better served by “a sustainable job market where it’s easier to make predictions about the future,” he said. The job market we’ve seen post-pandemic is not sustainable, he added.