U.S. economy adds 250,000 jobs as unemployment remains at 3.7 percent
Friday, November 02, 2018
Nonfarm payroll jobs rose 250,000 in October versus 134,000 in September while the rate of unemployment remained at 3.7 percent, a 49-year-low, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In October, the number of jobless workers was 6.1 million compared with 6.0 million in September.
October’s upbeat jobs report could bolster President Trump and the Republican Party in the midterm elections.
For major groups of workers, the unemployment rates were little changed. In October, adult women were jobless at a 3.4 percent rate versus 3.3 percent in September. Adult men were unemployed at a 3.5 percent rate compared with September’s 3.4 percent.
Black unemployment was 6.2 percent in October, up slightly from 6.0 percent in September. White joblessness was 3.3 percent in October, matching September’s rate. The unemployment rates for "Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change in October," according to the BLS.
Apparently, the 3.7 percent unemployment rate is spurring a rise in workers’ hourly wage-income. "Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or 3.1 percent," according to the BLS report. By contrast, average hourly earnings climbed by 73 cents or 2.8 percent in September.
"This is the first time we’ve hit at least 3 percent wage growth since April 2009," according to Elise Gould, a senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. "This is definitely a strong signal that workers are finally beginning to see an improving economy reach their paychecks."
October’s employment-population ratio climbed by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent (the share of the labor force now on payrolls versus the total working-age population) compared with 60.4 percent in September.
Small business payrolls by sector, size and industry rose in October. Firms of 1-49 employees hired 29,000 workers in October versus 56,000 workers in September, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Companies of 50-499 workers hired 96,000 employees compared with 99,000 in September.
Large firms with 500 or more employees hired 102,000 workers in October versus 75,000 workers in September. National franchise employment increased by 13,200 versus a decrease of 5,700 jobs in September.
ADP’s National Employment Report aggregates America’s nonfarm private sector employment from actual transactional payroll data, according to the ADP Research Institute that collaborates with Moody’s Analytics. ADP’s report differs from the BLS two-track methodology of business and household surveys.
According to ADP’s report, the service sector of the economy grew by 189,000 jobs in October compared with 184,000 jobs in September. Trade, transportation and utilities topped the chart with 61,000 new jobs in October. Leisure and hospitality followed with 40,000 new jobs. Professional/business services was next with 36,000 jobs.
In the goods-producing sector, payrolls grew by 36,000 jobs in October versus 46,000 jobs in September. Manufacturing and construction firms hired 17,000 employees, respectively in October. Natural resources and mining companies hired 4,000 new workers.
"Despite a significant shortage in skilled talent, the labor market continues to grow," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. "We continue to see larger employers benefit in this environment as they are more apt to provide the competitive wages and strong benefits that employees desire."
Mark Zandi is chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. "The job market bounced back strongly last month despite being hit by back-to-back hurricanes," he said. "Testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries. The only blemish is the struggles small businesses are having filling open job positions."
U.S. trade relations remain a sore spot for growth. Against that backdrop of both nations’ tariffs on each other’s imports, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is increasing interest rates, upping the price to borrow money, a drag on borrowing for U.S. firms and the customers they serve.
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