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04 November 2018, 11:01 | Hattie Nash
JOBS BOOM: US Companies Add a Robust 227000 Jobs in October
The strong jobs creation last month defied expectations, even by Trump's top economist, Kevin Hassett, who said he had been bracing for a dip in hiring after Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida panhandle and Georgia.
"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.
- US employers added a stellar 250,000 jobs last month and boosted average pay by the most in almost a decade in an effort to attract and keep workers.
The economy brushed past Hurricane Michael, adding 250,000 net new positions in October and handily overshooting forecasts, while salaries rose at the fastest pace in almost a decade, the Labor Department said. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change in October. Nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months. Wages grew by 3.1% in October, the best since April 2009. Hourly compensation also increased at a brisk pace in the third quarter.
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 report shows a booming US economy with a sufficient whiff of wage inflation to keep the Fed on track to raise rates in December and at least twice next year", said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds in NY. The annual increase of 3.1 per cent followed a 2.8 per cent advance. 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. Some economists noted Friday that Hurricane Florence, which struck the Carolinas in September, may have moved some hiring from that month to October. At the same time, "The attention will shift toward trade but also the Fed", which could raise interest rates another three or four times in 2019, he said.
Minorities, especially young minorities, have experienced record low unemployment. But one thing that could keep inflation contained even as wages rise is the dominance of large businesses in the USA economy.
"A tight labor market causes employers to compete for the workers they want to attract and retain, and one way they compete is on salary", Adams said. Openings exceeded 7.1 million, according to the government's most recent count. Thanks to the hurricanes last month and at this same time a year ago, some of the wage growth could amount statistical noise, some experts think. Workers at United States Steel Corp are set to receive a hefty pay rise also.
The jobs news will nearly certainly overwhelm another piece of economic news released Friday - the trade deficit in goods and services, which widened in September as imports rose more than exports.
American workers enjoyed the biggest leap in pay since 2009 as job gains topped forecasts and the unemployment rate held at a 48-year low, a boost for President Donald Trump ahead of next week's midterm elections and reason for the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates.
A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they can not find full-time employment, fell to 7.4 per cent last month from 7.5 per cent in September. Education and health services saw the largest overall employment increase, with this industry adding 46,700 jobs last month. About 711,000 people joined the labor force in October, and about 600,000 more people reported being employed.
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