Employers in U.S. add 250000 jobs

Monday, 05 Nov, 2018

US job growth rebounded sharply in October and wages recorded their largest annual gain in 9-1/2 years, pointing to further labor market tightening that could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again in December.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in almost 50 years, while the labor force participation rate increased to 62.9 percent from 62.7 percent during the month.

But the latest government data on business investment was weaker than expected, a sign companies might be holding off on spending because of uncertainty on trade.

"These are incredible numbers", Trump tweeted.

Between September and October, the USA jobless rate remained unchanged at 3.7% as total nonfarm payroll employment gains were posted primarily in health care, manufacturing, construction, and transportation and warehousing. Professional and business services, which include engineers, architects and accountants, gained 35,000 jobs. "The October jobs report added more positive news to the soaring Trump economy".

The unemployment rate held at a multi-decade low while job gains beat expectations in October. Nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Inc. last month lifted pay for it lowest-earning employees to $15 an hour.

Average work week increased to 34.5 hours, from 34.4 hours in prior month; a shorter workweek has the effect of boosting average hourly pay. The unemployment rate for Hispanics (4.4 percent) is the lowest it has been since the series began in 1973. Separate Labor Department data released earlier this week showed that salaries in the third quarter were, on average, 2.9 percent higher than last year's. (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.

By contrast, housing remains a weak spot in the economy, with sales of existing homes having fallen for six straight months as mortgage rates have risen to almost 5 percent. The Fed is expected to raise rates for a fourth time this year in December, and economists expect at least two further increase next year.

Some economists said Fed officials were likely to view the low unemployment and rising wages as modestly inflationary. Stocks on Wall Street fell while U.S. Treasury yields rose.

Many of employers' most recent hires had struggled through much of the nation's 10-year recovery from the Great Recession.

Wages are also rising.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 per cent from the prior month, also matching analyst projections, following a 0.3 percent gain, the report showed.

"In a strong report overall, the big news in this morning's October jobs report was the annual change in wage growth exceeding 3 percent for the first time since April 2009", said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasts for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The number of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5% of the unemployed.

Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 190,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Retailers barely hired, adding just 2,400 positions, possibly reflecting the Sears bankruptcy. About 711,000 people joined the labor force in October, and about 600,000 more people reported being employed. GOP candidates in heavily Republican states and House districts have followed Trump's lead, largely abandoning tax cuts and economic growth as election issues.

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.

In the blue-collar focused manufacturing and construction sectors, some 32,000 and 30,000 jobs were added, respective.