October jobs report live updates: US adds 150,000 jobs

October jobs report live updates: US adds 150,000 jobs

The increase was slightly smaller than economists had expected, but not much different from the kind of monthly job growth the U.S. economy was experiencing before the pandemic.

The unemployment rate, based on a household survey, increased to 3.9 percent from 3.8 percent in September. It has been below 4% for almost two years, a level not reached since the end of the 1960s.

The August and September figures were revised down by more than 100,000 points from previous reports. September’s surprisingly strong gain, originally reported at 336,000, has been restated to 297,000 and will be revised again next month.

“It’s somewhat concerning, but for now, these are still solid numbers,” said Sonu Varghese, chief market strategist at Carson Group, an asset management firm. “I think it’s still just normalization.”

The average hourly wage increased by 0.2 percent from the previous month, slightly less than expected, and by 4.1 percent from the previous year, slightly exceeding forecasts.

The October figures may have been withheld because the survey was conducted during major work stoppages, including the United Auto Workers strikes and resulting layoffs. Since then, the UAW has reached tentative agreements with the three major U.S. automakers and asked striking workers to return to work.

Some 96,000 people reported being out of work due to a strike or labor dispute in October, the highest number since 1997.

Claudia Sahm, an economist at the Federal Reserve from 2007 to 2019 and architect of a reliable recession gauge, said the report did not suggest “a good direction” for the labor market. But she added that unemployment would have to rise in the longer term to make it clear that recession risks were heightened.

Throughout the year, the economy defended its forecasts of a slowdown, even as inflation persisted, weighing on consumer confidence and, to some extent, business confidence.

The economy has also seen a tremendous bifurcation over the past two years, with the emergence of median household net worth while the poverty rate has climbed back up from its 2021 lows. This is part of the reason by the fact that the bottom third of households have exhausted the savings accumulated over the last decade. pandemic and increased borrowing to stay afloat.

As winter approaches, a gigantic interest rate hike implemented by the Federal Reserve since early 2022 threatens vulnerable borrowers and businesses.

Still, many market analysts told clients Friday that unless a major shock occurs – or household savings deplete faster than expected – the economy could continue to move forward, albeit at a slower pace.

After nearly two years lagging behind inflation, recent wage increases have on average outstripped the pace of price increases, and workers are still in demand. Layoffs, for now, are well below historical averages. And measures of labor productivity have also seen impressive gains in recent months.

“A rock-solid U.S. jobs market continues, albeit at a moderate pace,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at accounting firm RSM, fending off an apparent sense of gloom. “Income gains continue to outpace inflation, which bodes well for consumption as we approach the traditional holiday spending period. »

On a more technical level, added Mr. Brusuelas, the report “reaffirms the direction of monetary policy” of the Fed, which has been cautious recently by further increasing its rates. Financial markets recovered following this news.

Last fall, a large majority of economists surveyed in major surveys were convinced that a recession was imminent. This fall, the forecasts for the coming year are more mixed.

In a CNBC survey of economists, Wall Street strategists and market analysts, 49 percent said they still expected a recession in the next 12 months, while 42 percent predicted a “soft landing,” in which inflation would continue to ease without a broad contraction.

Avatar photo

David B.Otero

Related Posts

Read also x