Unemployment rate stays at 3.7% as 250K jobs added in October

05 November, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Loredana Gonzalez of Doral Fla. fills out a job application at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes Fla. On Friday Nov. 2 the U.S. government issues the October jobs report

US employers added a better-than-expected 250,000 jobs in October, soaring past expectations for an increase of 190,000 jobs in the last jobs report before the midterm elections and on the heels of an incredibly volatile month for the stock markets.

Pay gains also arguably are understated owing to demographics.

"Many large businesses will be able to absorb the higher costs without passing them on to the consumers", said Julia Pollak, a labor economist with ZipRecruiter.

"Unemployment at 3.7%. Wages UP!"

President Donald Trump celebrated the figures on Twitter as "incredible" and urged his followers to "Vote Republican".

Mr Trump and Republicans seek to capitalise on the solid performance of the economy as they prepare for the next week's midterm elections. Many appear motivated by noneconomic factors. Polls show Democrats stand a good chance of retaking the House of Representatives, providing a greater check on Trump's agenda. The measure includes part-time workers wanting a full-time job and people who are not actively looking for work. Restaurants and hotels gained 33,000, a lot of them lower-paying. The United States economy continues its longest, consecutive streak of positive monthly job numbers, with employment growth averaging 213,000 jobs per month in 2018-larger than the monthly gains in both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Eighteen states have increased their minimum wages this year. This is the fastest rate of wage growth since April 2009 and further increases are likely in the months ahead. Still, the pay growth suggests the benefits of a healthy economy are rippling out to more people.

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Among the major worker groups, the jobless rates for adult men (3.5%), adult women (3.4%), teenagers (11.9%), Whites (3.3%), Blacks (6.2%), Asians (3.2%), and Hispanics (4.4%) showed little or no change in October. Yet that hasn't happened.

October also marked the second month in a row that a hurricane had landed in the middle of the survey - meaning the figures could be subject to extra volatility, Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

The influx of new job-seekers lifted the proportion of Americans with jobs to the highest level since January 2009.

Employers, scrambling to find qualified workers, are boosting wages.

The gains in jobs and pay took a toll on the bond market, however. But his tax cuts and deregulatory policy have contributed to rising business confidence. Americans increased their spending by 4 percent in the July-September quarter, the biggest acceleration in almost four years. "The trade war is slowing the growth rate, because tariffs are a sales tax imposed on Americans by the US government". North said that means existing employees are likely working more hours each week as the labor force tightens and employers have a hard time finding workers. "We've finally gotten unemployment low enough that we're actually getting some traction on wages and salaries".

The Fed is not expected to raise rates at its policy meeting next week, but economists believe October's strong labor market data could see the US central bank signal an increase in December. Corporate investment in machinery, computers and other equipment barely rose in the July-September quarter, after two quarters of solid gains. Stocks on Wall Street fell while U.S. Treasury yields rose. The firm expects to add about 50 more jobs in the next year. Earnings for non-bosses (a category the Labor Department calls "production and non-supervisory workers" and excludes managers), grew even faster at 3.2 percent.

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