Where The October Jobs Were: Record Waiters And Bartenders

Following last month's sharply upward revised jobs report, whose initial negative print of -33,000 was since revised to a positive 18K, there was a sharp jump in October jobs, which while failing to meet consensus estimate of a +310K print, was still a solid +261K. But which jobs contributed the most? The answer, not surprising, is that the single biggest contributor was the same job category which was devastated in the previous month.

Readers will recall that last month we pointed out that workers in "food service and drinking places" aka waiters and bartenders, suffered their biggest drop on record, plunging by a whopping 111K. Well, one month later it's payback time, and according to the BLS, 88,500 waiters and bartenders found jobs in October, as the "plowhorse" sector of the so-called recovery found its spark. As shown in the chart below the monthly increase in waiters and bartenders was a record.

Putting this number in context, the record increase in "food service and drinking places" jobs was a whopping third (34%) of all the 261K jobs added in October.

There was another amusing observation. As we said last month, "we find it delightfully ironic that in the one month in which waiters/bartenders lost the most jobs on record is when average wages (allegedly) soared" and added that "the September drop will be revised and move higher next month. After all, many people fleeing Florida and Houston had to stay in hotels and motels, for example.  And certainly eat out more."

One month later,

of course, the other implication is that with tens of thousands of minimum wage jobs coming back, average hourly earnings would tumble, and - lo and behold - that is precisely what happened, with the worst monthly wage print since June 2015, as AHE actually declined by 1 cent in October.

Some other October jobs highlights:

  • Goods Producing jobs: +33K, slightly better than expected, with the last month revised higher from +9K to +18K. Much of this is due to damage repairs from the Hurricanes, which has invigorated the manufacturing sector, which added 24K jobs.
  • Trade, Transportation: +6K, weaker than expected, due to an 8.3K drop in retail trade jobs as Amazon continues to decimate the bricks and mortar sector.
  • Professional Services: +50K, better than expected, and driven largely by an 18.3K jump in temp workers, which traditionally is seen as harbinger of strong labor demand, however in recent years this has become a chornic component of the labor force, as increasingly more employers settle for temp workers instead of full-timers.
  • Education: +7.6K, in line with expectations
  • Healthcare: +21.5K, slightly weaker than expected as only 12K social assistance jobs added
  • Government: +9K. No hurricane impact and in line with expectations.
  • Information: -1K. A surprising, continuing decline (following -3K jobs lost in September), in what has traditionally been one of the best paying job sectors.
  • Leisure/Hospitality: +106K, much higher than expected, and very hurricane impacted. The sole contributor here was the abovementioned surge in waiters and bartenders.

Below is a breakdown of the monthly changes across the main job categories in September:

And from Bloomberg, here are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month. Additionally, monthly growth rates are shown for the prior year. The latest month’s figures are highlighted. Wage


dasein211 giovanni_f Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:33 Permalink

As the economy becomes more robot/tech heavy this is where the jobs will be. No one really wants to pick fruit and stock shelves when robots can do it 24/7 cheaper and faster. Same for manufacturing. Those jobs are going/gone. “Service” industry will grow. Vacation industries. Tourism. Travel. Healthcare. Those will all be the new growth. We will be a more vacation oriented society when the bots takeover.

In reply to by giovanni_f

dasein211 giovanni_f Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:33 Permalink

As the economy becomes more robot/tech heavy this is where the jobs will be. No one really wants to pick fruit and stock shelves when robots can do it 24/7 cheaper and faster. Same for manufacturing. Those jobs are going/gone. “Service” industry will grow. Vacation industries. Tourism. Travel. Healthcare. Those will all be the new growth. We will be a more vacation oriented society when the bots takeover.

In reply to by giovanni_f

YUNOSELL Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:48 Permalink

Everyone's gotta eat -- what else to do when the manufacturing jobs have gone away?If capital were more properly allocated then the milennials would have lower cost educations and then working on research & development for enhancing and optimizing the yields for more sustainable energy sources such as wind, water and solar, and working on projects for the future for building colonies on the moon or Mars, or efficient high speed magnetic trains between cities and efficient, non-disruptive tunneling (like with the Chunnel) underneath city roads to build new subways without needing to close the roads above.Instead it is wasted on financial industry parasites who extract it all in fees trading highly-leveraged paper claims to real wealth back and forth from one another, which the real prices will all be revealed during the next crash when the giant global Ponzi is exposed.

wmbz Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:39 Permalink

No need to hire them unless bidness is booming, and around my neck of the woods the chain food stores are always packed.Amerikans know really good frozen crap food when they taste it! Then they waddle over to next one.

Justin Case wmbz Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:55 Permalink

Amerikans know really good cheap crap food when they see it!Can't afford real food.Like cattle, all get the same poison. GMO and chemically enhanced, followed by obesity, rotting organs, cancer and slow death. Yummy! Sucks the rest of the family's life out of them financially.

In reply to by wmbz

Give Me Some Truth Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:08 Permalink

About those surging waiter and bartender jobs ...Are you and your family going out to restaurants to eat out more than you used to?I happen to think an average family is eating out less, just like the average family is "cutting the cord" - to save money, and make it to the end of the month.In other words, I challenge the stats. P.S. Have you ever seen a MSM story that questioned these stats?

Give Me Some Truth Vlad the Inhaler Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:52 Permalink

Since I no longer go to bars, I can't comment on the traffic at various pubs and speak easies. If Millenials are packed in these places, it's probably because they are living at home with Mom and Dad and don't have to pay rent, utilities, etc. And they probably want to get out of the house.Now, I do occassionally eat at restaurants (less often than I used to though). I do note that at most places I frequent a lot fewer tables seem to be occupied than in the past. Many restaurant chains are reportedly in trouble and are closing locations just like their cousins in retail.  

In reply to by Vlad the Inhaler

TrustbutVerify Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

If people - American citizens - bought more goods made in the USA (and not phony American branded products that are made in other countries) the manufacturing sector would grow. Imagine if Americans made efforts to help themselves.

shankster Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:25 Permalink

The institutions that once kept the sheeple in their pens, (sports, Hollywood, gubmit, big business, religion) are rapidly crumbling. Face it...the country is in the shitter has been for a long time. Soon the remaining bread and circuses will be gone and then folks.. it really gets interesting.

Vlad the Inhaler Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:27 Permalink

Check out the job listings, there's an incredible number of jobs out there today, some of the employers seem desperate.  The problem is most of them require some sort of specialized skills, you can't just walk in off the street and start earning $15/hr.  Even your $75,000 humanities degree probably won't help.

Manipuflation Vlad the Inhaler Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:53 Permalink

Most of those jobs don't exist.  Take Indeed for example; how you think that site makes money?  If you are an employer and list a job there once you had to create an account and pay for that listing.  Usually that is an HR department who does the listing and we all know how great any company's HR dept is.  What Indeed does is relist that job and charge the company for that service even if there is no job opening.  Accounting, not being what it used to be, usually misses the nominal charge because it is not big enough to draw a red flag.  I have applied for several jobs and even showed up in a few cases and found that no such job opening exists.  A couple of times I was asked why I had the impression that they were hiring.  Um, because it is listed online as one day old.  Almost no company does their own hiring anymore because they hire recruiters.  Generally, when you finally do get a call back you are not talking to the company but some shmuck who is going to ask you STAR questions that have nothing to do with your qualifications to which there are no correct answers.   To wit, it APPEARS that there are lot of jobs out there when really there are not.  For every 50 jobs you see one might be real.  Craigslist is more reliable.Good luck to you if you are a white male with a college education, two decades of management experience, no criminal history and an 800+ credit score like me.  You won't get hired because that is not what they want.  No one hires anyone who might be able to do the job better than they can or who might question why things are being done the way they are.  Employers want mediocrity and that is what you see every time you try to transact business.  It's Idiocracy at it's finest.To add to that, you need to have a wide open Facebook/Linked-in account because that is where they check first.  Well, sorry, I don't play cards that way.  Then they think you are hiding something if you refrain from displaying your whole life online.  You are supposed to be a dipshit who posts shit all over the place using your real name.  I have interveiw next Tuesday for a decent job.  It's corporate Merica and it will be a panel interview which tells that they are incapable of making a decision on their own.  What I'll get will be one female, one male or female of an ethnic minority and one older white guy.  Then they will ask me STAR questions.  I can't wait. 

In reply to by Vlad the Inhaler

Consuelo Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:36 Permalink

  "Fingers Freddie, Diamond JimThey're gettin' readyLook out! I'm comin' in!So spin that wheel, cut that packAnd roll those loaded diceBring on the dancing girlsAnd put the champagne on ice"

moonmac Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:12 Permalink

The best is when scum bags on food stamps treat waitresses like dirt and don’t tip them. Able bodied EBT holders should be forced to work in the restaurant industry while getting paid in leftovers. Either that or put a bullet in their heads. I’m okay with either.

abgary1 Fri, 11/03/2017 - 14:52 Permalink

Automate every possible public sector job.Slash taxes.Tax job automation in the private sector out of existence.Target an inflation rate of zero.Watch the economy grow.Socialism does not work.

mr bear Fri, 11/03/2017 - 15:34 Permalink

When the food starts running out, there'll be an obvious solution: Eat the waiters.

The script is already written:
"Soylent Green is waiters. Soylent Green is waiters!!"