Updated Nov 2, 2018

U.S. adds 250k jobs in October, wage growth soars

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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. added 250,000 jobs in October, beating the 190,000 jobs estimate from economists, the Labor Department said on Friday. Unemployment rate held at 3.7%, a nearly 50-year low, while wages grew 3.1% year-over-year, the biggest jump since 2009.

Why it matters: The final gauge of the Trump economy before the midterm elections was strong. Separately, it reinforces the Federal Reserve's case to raise interest rates one more time this year.

Details:

  • Job growth was strong in health care, manufacturing, and construction sectors.
  • Hispanic unemployment hit a record low of 4.4%, while African American unemployment ticked slightly higher to 6.2%.
  • September's jobs number was revised lower to 118,000 from 134,000, but that was offset by an upward revision in August's jobs number.
  • The Labor Department said Hurricane Michael, which made landfall during the surveying period for jobs, had "no discernible effect" on employment data in October.

The bottom line: Jason Furman, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under Obama, tweeted that this was an exceptional jobs report:

Go deeper

Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's jobs report missed expectations, but still delivered solid numbers, showing the U.S. economy added well over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low.

The big picture: BLS reported that the number of people who were employed part time but would rather be full-time employees declined by 507,000 over the year.

Growing divide between the two Americas

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Life in the U.S. is increasingly divided into two realities — one in which things have almost never been better and another in which it's hard to imagine them being worse.

Driving the news: Bankruptcies led more companies to announce job cuts last year than at any time in more than a decade, WSJ's Aisha Al-Muslim reports (subscription), citing data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. economy is besting expectations for job growth, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in several decades — but the other side of the story is that millions of jobs out there just aren't good enough.

Why it matters: Almost half of all American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs that often don't pay enough to support their lives, lack benefits and sit squarely inside the automation bullseye.