U.S. payrolls increased by 150,000 in October, less than the 175,000 increase expected by economists. The latest figures from the Department of Labor showed that the United States added 150,000 jobs in October, far below the 175,000 expected by economists. This marks the smallest monthly increase in employment since April, when COVID-19 began to take its toll on the labor market. The job gains in October were driven predominantly by the retail sector, which added 79,700 positions. However, the accommodation and food services sector cut more than 30,000 jobs, the first decline since the reopening of many restaurants and bars. Meanwhile, the transportation and warehousing sector saw a decrease of 29,400 jobs, from the previous month. The number of Americans claiming benefits for unemployment, however, rose in early October to 837,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week. While this is the first weekly rise in a month, it is still considerably lower than the pre-pandemic levels, which are estimated to be around 233,000. In addition to the employment figures, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also released its monthly Consumer Price Index, which rose 0.2% in October. This marks the second consecutive monthly uptick, suggesting that inflation is slowly starting to pick up. Overall, the U.S. labor market is slowly recovering, but at a much slower pace than expected. The rise in unemployment claims suggests that more people are becoming unemployed, even as new jobs are being created. Now more than ever, it is important for policy makers to continue to support the labor market by enacting policies that will help workers find jobs and stay afloat.