US Adds 250,00 Jobs, Wages Rise 3.1%

Donald Trump

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the last major economic data before the November 6 election, also shows the unemployment rate remained at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent. In September the unemployment rate fell 3.7%, a 49-year low, and remained there in October.

- US employers added a stellar 250,000 jobs last month and boosted average pay by the most in almost a decade in an effort to attract and keep workers.

August's job gains were revised up from 270,000 to 286,000 and the change for September was revised down from 134,000 to 118,000. The state's rate in September was 3.8 percent, down 0.8 percent from 4.6 percent in September 2017.

The two reports also respond differently to hurricanes.

Strong annual wage growth mirrors other data published this week showing wages and salaries rising in the third quarter by the most since mid-2008. The probability of another 25 basis-point (one-quarter percentage point) rise in the federal funds target, from 2%-2.25% now, at the December 18-19 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee continues to hover around 75%, according to Bloomberg data. The prime-age (25-54) labor force participation rate-which is an important indicator because it is not driven by demographics, but rather by the strength of the job market-increased by 0.4 p.p.to 89.0 percent among men and by 0.6 p.p.to 75.8 percent among women.

The October data may be less of an indicator of the trend than usual because they reflect distortions from hurricanes both this year and last year.

The country now has 7.1 million job openings, a record high, the Labor Department announced Tuesday.

Average hourly wages rose 3.1 percent in October from a year earlier, the fastest annual gain since 2009.

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The continued pace of job growth is unusual at this point in an economic recovery, and shows that there are still enough workers coming off the sidelines as opportunities improve to supply at least a portion of businesses' labor needs.

Still, the latest month of healthy job growth might not tip many votes in the midterm elections. Retailers created 2,400 jobs following a 32,400 decline in September.

Health care, manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing fueled October'sparticularly strong job growth. Job gains in the sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of the US economy, could slow after a survey on Thursday showed a measure of factory employment fell in October. Construction employment grew by 30,000. Jobs in the sector have been increasing despite weakness in the housing market.

William Stoller, chairman and chief executive of Express Employment Professionals, which is based in Oklahoma City, said pay in light industrial and administrative jobs, for example, had climbed to $14.50 to $15.50 an hour, from roughly $13.60 a year ago.

This article is for general information purposes only.

The dollar .DXY was trading higher against a basket of currencies.

So far, manufacturing hiring does not appear to have been affected by the Trump administration's protectionist trade policy, which has contributed to capacity constraints at factories.

The jobs report comes after US stocks were hammered throughout the month of October, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite falling roughly 9 percent over the month as weak earnings reports hurt industry leaders such as Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet. The United States is locked in a bitter trade war with China as well as tit-for-tat tariffs with other trade partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

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