The US added 250,000 jobs in October – the last jobs report before Donald Trump’s first midterm elections. In good news for the president, wages grew at their fastest rate for close to a decade.
Analysts had been expecting the US to add around 188,000 jobs over the month. In September the unemployment rate fell 3.7%, a 49-year low, and remained there in October.
The unemployment rate in the US has not remained below 4% for a sustained period since the Vietnam war. The US has now added jobs every month for 97 months in a row – the longest run of job gains on record.
In September wages were 3.1% higher than they were a year ago – the first time since April 2009 that wage growth has topped 3%. Despite the record-breaking streak of jobs growth, wage rises have remained stubbornly since the end of the recession.
Trump celebrated the news on Twitter. “Wow! The U.S. added 250,000 Jobs in October – and this was despite the hurricanes. Unemployment at 3.7%. Wages UP! These are incredible numbers. Keep it going, Vote Republican!”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job gains occurred in healthcare, manufacturing, construction and transportation and warehousing.
Jobs growth in the private sector was particularly strong in September, according to ADP, the US’s largest payroll processor. ADP said the economy had added 227,000 jobs in October, with employers reporting they are now struggling to fill positions.
“Despite a significant shortage in skilled talent, the labor market continues to grow,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice-president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
“We saw significant gains across all industries with trade and leisure and hospitality leading the way. We continue to see larger employers benefit in this environment, as they are more apt to provide the competitive wages and strong benefits employees desire.”