Finance

US added 250,000 jobs, wage growth fastest since 2009

US added 250,000 jobs, wage growth fastest since 2009

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged, holding steady at 3.7 percent - a 49-year low.

- 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. For the year, health care employment grew by 323,000. September's figure was revised even lower on Friday to 118,000 jobs.

The pay gains were also broad - up 3.1 percent for all private-sector workers and 3.2 percent for "middle-wage" ones. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 per cent month-on-month and 3.1 per cent year-on-year, up from 2.8 per cent growth in September. The average workweek increased to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in September. On Friday, Nov. 2, the USA government issues the October jobs report.

The dollar .DXY was trading higher against a basket of currencies.

Strong annual wage growth mirrors other data published this week showing wages and salaries rising in the third quarter by the most since mid-2008.

Firming wages support views that inflation will hover around the Fed's 2.0 percent target for a while.

The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in October. But he added the overshoot could have been partly related to workers returning from Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

Stock futures rose on Friday after the release of the report. "Market participants will likely need to adjust their expectations going forward".

Employers, scrambling to find qualified workers, are boosting wages.

The country now has 7.1 million openings, a record high, the Labor Department announced Tuesday. Thanks to the hurricanes last month and at this same time past year, some of the wage growth could amount statistical noise, some experts think.

Wages are also rising. The United States economy continues its longest, consecutive streak of positive monthly job numbers, with employment growth averaging 213,000 jobs per month in 2018-larger than the monthly gains in both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000).

That is seen supporting the economy through at least early 2019 when gross domestic product is expected to significantly slow as the stimulus from the White House's $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades.

"In a strong report overall, the big news in this morning's October jobs report was the annual change in wage growth exceeding 3 percent for the first time since April 2009", said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasts for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The share of the population in the workforce also rose 0.2 to 60.6%.

Still, the latest month of healthy job growth might not tip many votes in the midterm elections. Earlier Tuesday, ADP's National Employment Report showed that 227,000 private sector jobs had been added to US payrolls in October. Construction expanded by 30,000 roles, almost half of which focus on residential homes.

The gains in jobs and pay took a toll on the bond market, however. Moreover, most of last month's increase came among those with a college degree or higher, in contrast to recent months' rises, which were concentrated among people with a high-school diploma or less.

The US jobs data showed companies kept right on hiring in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing, despite continued reports of a shortage of skilled labor. Manufacturers added 32,000 after two months of smaller gains, defying fears that Trump's trade fights would slow hiring in that sector.


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