Nov 1, 2019 - Economy

October jobs report surprises with 128,000 jobs added

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October — more than the 75,000 economists expected — while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The strong numbers come despite job growth held down by the 40-day United Auto Workers strike against General Motors, which has since ended.

By the numbers: The strike shaved 46,000 jobs from October's report. The strikers' return to work will be reflected in November's report.

  • The federal government shed 17,000 jobs last month as "temporary workers who had been preparing for the 2020 Census completed their work," per the Labor Department's release.
  • Job growth in previous months was better than initially thought. A combined 95,000 more jobs than previously estimated were added in August and September.

The bottom line: The October jobs report had a low hurdle to clear, given the downbeat estimates around employment. Still, the report is strong enough to ward off fears of a broad-based slowdown.

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