According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 150,000 in October, down from a revised 297,000 in September. While the U.S. economy has added 2,388,000 workers through the first 10 months of 2023, the labor force participation rate edged down from 62.8% to 62.7%. The unemployment rate inched up from 3.8% in September to 3.9% in October, the highest since January 2021, with the number of unemployed Americans rising from 6,360,000 to 6,506,000.   

Manufacturing employment fell 35,000 in October with strikes in the automotive industry accounting for the bulk of that decline (-33,200). At the same time, manufacturing hiring is down 14,000 workers YTD.  

Consumer confidence declined from 104.3 in September to 102.6 in October, according to the Conference Board. Americans felt less optimistic in their assessments of both the current economy and the outlook, with higher prices, political strife and geopolitical events weighing heavily. More than two-thirds of consumers continue to expect a recession over the next 12 months.