Industry Insights

October Unemployment Update

By: Sia Zou & Joe Wilkie
Nov 11, 2020 • 4 min read

October Unemployment Update

In April 2020, unemployment rates peaked at 14.7%, rising from an average of 3.5% over the previous months. Since April, unemployment has continued to drop, slowly but surely. The Dow Jones forecast for unemployment rates in October hovered around 7.7%. However, data indicates we have surpassed this level. Approaching our pre-COVID unemployment levels of 3.5%, October 2020, unemployment has dropped to 6.9%.

The number of unemployed individuals is currently at 11.1 million, dropping from 12.6 million in September. We all know how difficult these past months have been, but to reiterate how challenging it has been for some people – 3.6 million people have been unemployed for nearly seven months.

We have created a downloadable PDF info-graphic below where we synthesized the October data and findings.

JobGet Unemployment Report October 2020


The unemployment rate among men and women has reversed in trend. In the past months, unemployment among women has trended higher than that of men.  In October, it appears that unemployment among women has dropped to 6.5%, while it is currently at 6.7% for men.

The unemployment rate among minorities has remained higher than majority demographics. However, it appears the gap has begun to shrink slightly.


Jobs in leisure and hospitality have seen a 2.1% jump in the past month, with 71% of those jobs from food and beverage service. As many restaurants begin “hibernation” for the winter months in a pandemic, it will be interesting to see where this number goes in the coming weeks.

In business environments, 52% of the job growth has derived from temporary help services (temp jobs) that indicate businesses are hesitant to move forward with permanent hires.

While many industries have seen some growth over the past month, government jobs have continued to decline, seeing an additional 1.2% decrease since September.


As we prepare for the “third wave” of COVID cases across the country, it will be essential to ensure our communities’ safety and stability. Monitoring unemployment rates will be a vital part of this effort. While unemployment continues to drop since the peak of 14.7% in April 2020, COVID cases have reached an all-time high across the country. Many industries have adapted to safety standards, remote work, and more. We can only hope that they continue to remain resilient through the coming weeks as well!

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