October’s labor market saw continued growth with a total of 261,000 jobs gained overall — 233,000 in the private sector and 28,000 in government employment. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% as the labor force participation rate declined slightly to 62.2%. Among other factors preventing some from participating in the labor force, total persons who missed work in October due to an illness-related absence increased 8%. Compared to the pre-pandemic average, childcare availability remains a huge barrier with 135% more parents missing a week of work as they face childcare challenges. Job openings jumped from last month’s 10.1M to 10.3M — a staggering 54% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, the overall number of quits declined to 4.06M but remains 17% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Overall, as the number of job openings continues to climb, the labor market remains tight for most industries even as demand begins to decelerate.