Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Jobs Market Growing, US Unemployment Decreasing

Jobs Market Growing, US Unemployment Decreasing

Economists had forecast that employers added 200,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. announced last month that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for USA employees starting in November.

Still, inflation has picked up a bit in the past year as well, eating away at some of those pay raises.

But the anticipated bounce back in job growth is likely to be tempered some what by Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle in mid-October. There are also signs that pay hikes are taking hold more firmly: Amazon.com Inc. just raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 for USA employees. The rate slightly decreased to 7.4 percent in October when counting people who sought a job in the past year and also those with part-time jobs in want of a full-time one.

FILE- In this January 30, 2018, file photo, Loredana Gonzalez, of Doral, Fla., fills out a job application at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla.

The increase in jobs marked the 97th straight month of gains. Teenage unemployment dropped last month to 11.9 percent, the lowest since 1969. Caldwell, who attends the Monarch School's Life Academy, has been working at MOD Pizza for about a year.

"The employment report should help calm some concerns that the economy is slowing more quickly than it really is, the economy is really in good shape", said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in Westchester, Pennsylvania. "Evidently, the word has spread that there are good jobs to be had at decent wages". "I had to bring home enough on top of child care".

"Many large businesses will be able to absorb the higher costs without passing them on to the consumers", said Julia Pollak, a labor economist with ZipRecruiter.

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The resulting strength in customer demand has led companies to steadily add workers.

Last month, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector increased by 42,000 jobs after being unchanged in September.

President Donald Trump has expressed outrage at the Fed's current tightening cycle, after three hikes this year.

On average, the U.S. economy has added 218,000 jobs a month over the last three months - well above the rate needed to keep up with population growth. But Fed policymakers expect growth to slide to 2.5 percent rate next year and to 2 percent in 2020. Still, October's outsize gain might have reflected, in part, a rebound from September, when Hurricane Florence depressed job growth. People are eager to enter or re-enter the labor force and the pace of hiring remains strong, while wages are growing, meaning more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans. Professional and business services 35,000.

So far, manufacturing hiring does not appear to have been affected by the Trump administration's protectionist trade policy, which has contributed to capacity constraints at factories.

Construction companies probably hired more workers in October. Retail payrolls rose by only 2,400, likely restrained by layoffs related to Steinhoff's Mattress Firm bankruptcy as well as some store closures by Sears Holdings Corp. "They're being more rational". Economists expected wages to rise 0.2% over last month and 3.1% over previous year. The annual increase of 3.1 per cent followed a 2.8 per cent advance.

Some of the strong payrolls growth came from a slight downward revision to September's number, but overall it lifts the average over the past 12 months to 211,000. An estimated 711,000 people joined the labor force last month. But slower sales have started to limit home price increases, which had been running at more than twice the pace of wage gains. That trend, in turn, can accelerate inflation. But economists said it's still encouraging, as the pay increase remains well above the inflation rate, meaning that workers' pay is actually raising their standard of living.

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