U.S. job growth surges; annual wage gain biggest since 2009

Justin Sullivan  Getty Images North America

Justin Sullivan Getty Images North America

August's job gains were revised up from 270,000 to 286,000 and the change for September was revised down from 134,000 to 118,000.

Earlier this month, the state Labor Department released preliminary numbers for September that indicated the unemployment rate is 4.2 percent in the county, which is 1.3 percent lower than the rate of 5.5 in September 2017. The economy expanded 3.5 percent, though most economists forecast growth will fall below 3 percent in the final three months of this year.

Average hourly earnings rose by 3.1% year-on-year, the first time they'd grown by more than 3% since April 2009. Neil Wilson, analyst at markets.com, said: "This reaffirms the view that the tighter labour market is starting to feed through to higher wages and will further strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve to maintain the current path of hikes".

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics arrives less than a month after Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida panhandle and Georgia, knocking some people temporarily out of work and dampening economic activity in the Southeast.

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The country has 7.1 million job openings, a record high, the Labor Department announced Tuesday. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade war with China poses a risk to further gains and companies may be slowing capital investment. That suggests, he said, that the wage increases are not just a product of a tightening job market, which would have boosted inflation, but are based on a solid footing of increasing productivity. "We've finally gotten unemployment low enough that we're actually getting some traction on wages and salaries".

Last month, the economy added 47,000 jobs in health care, 42,000 in leisure and hospitality, 32,000 in manufacturing, 30,000 in construction and almost 25,000 in transportation and warehousing. And a storm-related drop in average wages a year ago, resulting from Hurricane Harvey, helped inflate October's gain.

U.S. employers added more people than expected to their payrolls in October as wages grew at their fastest pace since April 2009, according to the jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the early 2000s and late 1960s, wages for nonsupervisors, for which more years of data are available, were growing at a 4%-or-better annual pace.

"We absolutely see employers getting more and more creative about ways to get people in", Frankiewicz said. The civilian labor force participation rate for workers between ages 25 and 54, which measures the percentage of the population that is working or looking for work, jumped to its highest level since May 2010. But for now, inflation remains right around the Federal Reserve's target of 2 percent.

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Americans boosted their spending by the most in almost four years in the July-September quarter.

The October jobs report offers "another reminder of the labor market's persistent strength even as the stock market has swerved down in recent weeks", the Times said.

Inflation has also increased in the past year, eroding some of the value of that increase. "My view is a federal minimum wage is a awful idea. There is nothing you can't love in here", said Dan North, chief economist at the credit insurance company Euler Hermes North America. It doesn't mean companies have to pass on higher wage costs to consumers. Restaurants and hotels gained 33,000, majority lower-paying.

USA businesses ramped up hiring in October, and wages rose by the largest year-over-year amount in almost a decade, a combination that is pulling a rising share of Americans into the job market.

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