In October, total U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 128,000 new hires, as the unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from 3.5% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment growth has averaged 167,000 per month in 2019.

Federal government employment dropped by 17,000 in October, as temporary workers ended their assignments for the 2020 Census. Further, the now-resolved General Motors strike reduced automotive employment in October.

“Accounting for the direct effect of striking workers and temporary Census workers,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., “jobs grew 189,000 on average over the last three months,” in a statement.

Unemployment rates for major groups of workers, including adult men and women; whites; blacks; Asians; and Hispanics, “showed little or no change in October,” according to the BLS. The unemployment rate for teens fell to 11% in October from 11.9% in September. Long-term unemployment of 27 weeks or longer as a part of the overall total was 21.5% in October versus 22.7% in September.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose to $28.18 from $26.12 in September. Average hourly earnings are up 3% during the last year, according to the BLS.

The average duration of weekly hours and overtime of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.4 hours in October, matching the figures for September and August.

Medium-sized business of 50-499 employees created 64,000 jobs in October, up from 39,000 in September, according to the Automatic Data Processing National Employment Report, which is produced from ADP payroll data in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics.

Large firms of 500 or more employees hired 44,000 new workers versus 67,000 new hires in September. Hiring fell at small firms of 1-49 employees with 17,000 new jobs in October from 30,000 in September. Very small businesses with 1-19 workers lost 12,000 jobs in October after adding 4,000 new hires in September.

“While job growth continues to soften, there are certain segments of the labor market that remain strong,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement.

According to ADP/Moody’s report, the service-providing sector added 138,000 new hires in October versus 127,000 in September. Meanwhile, the goods-producing sector lost 13,000 jobs in October after gaining 8,000 new hires in September. Manufacturing firms lost 4,000 jobs in October compared with gaining 2,000 in September.

In monetary policy news, the Federal Open Market Committee cut short-interest rates in a move to stimulate economic activity on Oct. 30. That is in keeping with the mission of the central bank to stabilize employment and minimize inflation.

“Today’s jobs report strongly suggests the Federal Reserve has done the right thing by lowering interest rates,” according to Shierholz. To sustain the economic expansion that has occurred since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, the Fed has reduced interest rates three times in 2019.