2022 jobs report: Economy adds 260K jobs, 'very solid jobs market'

TMJ4'S Chief Political Reporter Charles Benson talks with Biden Administration Adviser Jared Bernstein about the nation's economy.
Job Openings
Posted at 8:47 AM, Nov 07, 2022

MILWAUKEE — The final jobs report is out before the midterm elections, giving voters a look at what direction the economy is going and if efforts to fight inflation are working.

Friday's nonfarm payrolls grew by 261,000 in October, better than the estimate of 205,000 jobs.

"These are great numbers for Americans who are seeking opportunities in the job market," said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. "We've got a very solid jobs market. We've got unemployment near 50 years lows; a really unique production of manufacturing jobs and that kind of thing has momentum."

The unemployment rate moved slightly higher to 3.7%. Wisconsin's 3.2% September unemployment rate remains below the national average and at near-record lows.

Manufacturing jobs remain key to Wisconsin's economy; the state ranks 8th in the nation in the number of manufacturers.

Nationwide, it was also a strong area of growth in the October jobs numbers.

"The manufacturing piece of this is really important in part because it's something that President Biden has long value," said Bernstein. "He gets the value, the innovation of productivity inherent in that sector, and through some really important pieces of legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, which I should add Republicans want to repeal."

Republicans have been critical of the Inflation Reduction Act which included sweeping legislation for clean energy, lower prescription drug prices and a minimum 15% tax rate for corporations making more than $1 billion in income.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the bill in August saying it was another "big government spending package."

Johnson is in a tight U.S. Senate race against Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Johnson blames President Biden and Democrats for the record-high inflation.

"Mandela Barnes would be a rubber stamp for Joe Biden's reckless policies that have resulted in slower job growth, 40-year high inflation, rising gas prices, higher taxes, and a looming recession," said Johnson campaign spokesperson Alec Zimmerman.

Inflation has consistently been a top concern for Wisconsin voters in the Marquette Law School Poll, with 68% saying they are very concerned.

Barnes has called for a middle-class tax cut to fight inflation and criticized Johnson's support for President Trump's 2017 tax cut.

"While working families face rising prices and struggle to make ends meet, Ron Johnson blew a $2 trillion hole in the deficit to benefit his wealthy donors, and his former company has paid zero state income taxes for nearly a decade," said Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in a statement. "The only thing working Wisconsinites could ever count on Ron Johnson to do is leave them behind."

While hiring remained strong in October - it was the lowest pace of jobs growth since December 2020 and there are signs the labor market is cooling off.

"There is some real cooling off going on which is necessary, but the underlying pace of job growth, of economic growth, is still solid," said Bernstein. "That links up very nicely to President Biden's goal of maintaining the economic gains that we've made while easing price pressures."

October's inflation number will be released Thursday after the election. It was 8.2% in September, down from June's high but still among the highest in 40 years.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip