How to Describe the U.S. Job Market? Resilient
How to Describe the U.S. Job Market? Resilient

A major labor strike at General Motors didn't do much to slow U.S. employment growth last month, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday - a sign that the U.S. economy remains staunchly resilient amid slower growth elsewhere.

The U.S. economy added 128,000 in October, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, above economists' consensus forecasts of 89,500 new positions for the month.

September's payrolls, meantime, were revised higher to 180,000 from an initially reported 136,000, while August's payrolls were also revised upward, to 219,000 from an initial 180,000.

With the revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 95,000 more than previously reported, the Labor Department said.

The unemployment rate inched up to 3.6% after touching 3.5% in September, the lowest since 1969.

Average hourly earnings climbed 0.2% on a monthly basis and 3% year on year, matching economists' forecasts.

Even before the GM strike, employment in auto manufacturing -- and in manufacturing more broadly -- had been tapering off.

Last year's surge in manufacturing-related positions was a big reason why hiring accelerated in 2018.

Without that support, employment growth eased in 2019, consistent with an economy that has expanded by 2% in recent quarters.

Combined with the Federal Reserve's recent rate cuts including its latest one just this week, analysts and investors are expecting the economy to continue firing on all cylinders through the end of the year, particularly as U.S. companies ramp up seasonal hiring ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Stronger job gains have continued to cement the case for the current U.S. growth story that has, in part, underpinned highs on Wall Street.