20111103 hiring jobfair unemployment
A job seeker shakes hands with a recruiter during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitmore on July 12, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. - 

Jeremy Hobson: We're just a couple hours away from
the big October employment report from the Labor Department, which will tell us how many jobs were added last month in the U.S. and what our new unemployment rate is.

Now, since April the economy has added an average of 72,000 jobs a month. And Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports today's report is likely to show more of the same.

Mitchell Hartman: Economists estimate we got around 100,000 new jobs in October. Decent, but not enough to attack the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

And who's been hiring? Well, it's not big companies, with their huge cash reserves. They've been laying people off, says Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics, because they're dependent on exports.

Paul Ashworth: The outlook for growth next year looks awful, frankly, at this stage for Europe, but also the slowdown we're beginning to see in Asia.

It's companies with 10 to a few hundred employees that are hiring now.

Ashworth: Small- and medium-sized firms are more focused on the service sector and the domestic economy.

Which is still chugging in low gear. Randy Dellwo makes measuring instruments. He's been doing better as U.S. manufacturers upgrade their equipment. His staff just went from 12 to 13.

Randy Dellwo: Our new hire, he's been in the electronics industry, but over the last several years has not been able to find any work in that area and so he had to go back to construction.

For the few businesses that are hiring, it's definitely a buyer's market.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy