The U.S. economy added 214,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported today, slightly below expectations but still at a decent pace which suggests demand for labor continues to grow.
The unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point to 5.8 percent, while job gains for the prior two months rose 31,000, with the new September number coming in at 256,000 and the August tally at 203,000 jobs added.
The labor force participation rate remains at historic lows, however, rising just a tenth of a point to 62.8 percent, suggesting many still are not looking for work either because they are discouraged or they’re getting enough benefits elsewhere. By a separate measure, the number of unemployed workers, discouraged workers, and those unwillingly working in part-time jobs fell three tenths of a point to 11.5 percent in October.
Pay increases also are basically stuck, with the average hourly wage rising only 3 cents to $24.57, just two percent over a year ago, which is about where inflation is.
Swamped just a few days ago by the Republican tide, the White House today performed a little victory dance.
“With today’s report, the unemployment rate is falling as fast as at any point in the last thirty years, and the economy is on pace for its best year of job growth since the late 1990s,” said Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman.