US Adds 250,00 Jobs, Wages Rise 3.1%


Federal economists reported 250,000 new jobs in October, the 97th straight month of gains, and the unemployment rate remained at a almost half-century low of 3.7 percent, underlining the strong fundamentals of the economy, despite stock market jitters.

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 per cent, the lowest in almost 50 years and below the level that the Federal Reserve judges sustainable over the long run.

Sustained labour market strength could ease fears about the economy's health following weak housing data and stalling business spending. "Keep it going, Vote Republican!"

"Tax relief is helping our economy grow and Iowans are keeping more of their hard-earned money", Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, who is in one of the most competitive House races in the country against Democrat Cindy Axne, tweeted Friday after the jobs numbers came out.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off about 200 points, or 0.8%, at 25,193 in early afternoon after rising initially following the strong jobs news, which featured a 250,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls last month, better than 50,000 above economists' consensus guesses.

The US economy added another 250,000 jobs in October, beating expectations after slower growth in September.

Wage growth hit an annualized rate of 3.1% in October, the most since 2009.

The two reports also respond differently to hurricanes. That boosted the annual increase in wages to 3.1 per cent, the biggest gain since April 2009, from 2.8 per cent in September.

The rebound in job creation last month was widely expected. Hourly compensation also increased at a brisk pace in the third quarter.

Average hourly earnings in October grew 3.1 percent from ago, federal data show. (A move at the next meeting on November 7-8 is a long shot, with only a 10.5% probability.) The odds still also favor a second 25-basis-point increase from here by mid-2019, but it's only even-money odds for a third. The Fed raised its benchmark federal-funds rate in September to a range between 2% and 2.25%, and most officials signaled they expected to lift rates by another percentage point through next year.

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Despite the recent improvements, wage gains are still soft compared with other periods of similarly low unemployment.

Kinestral Technologies Inc., which engineers and manufactures smart-tinting windows for homes and commercial buildings, has added about six people to its US staff of just more than 100.

And Diane Swonk of Grant Thornton noted that while wages are rising, benefits have not recovered, despite comments from employers that they are beefing up perks to attract and retain workers.

The U.S. economy posted an unexpectedly strong gain in jobs in October while average wage growth topped 3% for the first time in nine years.

According to the Labor Department, the number of people who had been searching for work for 27 weeks or longer was 1.4 million.

USA non-farm payrolls rose by 250,000 in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, well above economists' estimates for a gain of 190,000. Retail payrolls rose by only 2,400, likely restrained by layoffs related to Steinhoff's Mattress Firm bankruptcy as well as some store closures by Sears Holdings Corp.

Construction companies probably hired more workers in October.

Job growth in the United States slowed considerably in September, largely because of Hurricane Florence's devastating run through the Carolinas.

But the anticipated bounce back in job growth is likely to be tempered some what by Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle in mid-October.

The gains in October occurred in most industries, with the healthcare sector adding 36,000 jobs, manufacturing 32,000 and construction 30,000. Job gains in the sector, which accounts for about 12 per cent of the USA economy, could slow after a survey on Thursday showed a measure of factory employment fell in October.