November 01, 2019
Employers added 128,000 jobs in October, despite a loss of 20,000 temporary census jobs and 42,000 jobs due to strike activity, as the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6% and average hourly earnings for all employees increased 3.0% year-over-year, well above the 1.7% inflation rate.
Revisions to the preliminary August and September numbers added 95,000 jobs, bringing the latest three-month average to 176,000, though gains remain below 2018 levels (223,000).
Notably, hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees (3.5%), are rising at their fastest pace since 2008, and are increasing faster than supervisory employees.
Employers across a broad spectrum of industries added jobs:
Most other industries were little changed, with the exceptions of manufacturing (-36,000), which was strike related, and the federal government (-17,000), which was due to temporary census workers leaving their jobs.
Looking ahead: According to the latest National Association of Business Economics outlook, “the odds of a recession remain generally low for the next 12 months” and the unemployment rate is projected to be 3.7% in 2020, with employee compensation increasing 3.3%. However, the pace of hiring is projected to slow to an average 129,000 per month in 2020, down from 164,000 in 2019.