Jobs re­port shows promis­ing wage growth

Good em­ploy­ment mar­ket could boost Clin­ton’s chances

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By Don Lee — As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — The last monthly jobs re­port be­fore Tues­day’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion of­fered some en­cour­ag­ing news for work­ers: Job growth re­mains steady and pay is ris­ing at a faster rate.

The U.S. Depart­ment of La­bor re­ported em­ploy­ers in Oc­to­ber added 161,000 jobs, a lit­tle less than an­a­lysts’ av­er­age fore­cast but still a solid pace con­sis­tent with a healthy la­bor mar­ket. That’s more than enough to ab­sorb new en­trants to the work­force and keep the job­less rate from ris­ing.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate dipped to 4.9 per­cent last month, from 5 per­cent in Septem­ber, but that was mostly be­cause the size of the la­bor force, a some­times volatile num­ber in gov­ern- Em­ploy­ers in Oc­to­ber added 161,000 jobs, the La­bor Depart­ment re­ported Fri­day. ment sur­veys, shrank in Oc­to­ber.

The job­less rate has ranged from 4.7 per­cent to 5 per­cent this year, but the fig­ure doesn’t in­clude peo­ple who have given up look­ing for jobs and oth­ers not ac­tively seek­ing work.

While the ex­pected em­ploy­ment statis­tics are un­likely to sway vot­ers, Fri­day’s re­port adds to the body of ev­i­dence that the long and slow re­cov­ery is gen­er­at­ing more mean­ing­ful in­come gains for or­di­nary work­ers.

It gives a lit­tle boost to Hil­lary Clin­ton, the Demo­cratic can­di­date whose for-

Mar­kets dip de­spite la­bor num­bers

NEW YORK — Stock mar­kets rose af­ter the jobs re­port Fri­day but could not hold the gains, with the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age fall­ing 42.39 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 17,888.28. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex lost 3.48 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,085.18, ex­tend­ing its los­ing streak to nine ses­sions, the long­est since 1980. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite lost 12.04 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 5,046.37. tunes are linked to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and his poli­cies.

The ac­cel­er­a­tion in wages also will be seen by the Fed­eral Re­serve as an­other in­di­ca­tion of a strength­en­ing la­bor mar­ket and ris­ing in­fla­tion — con­di­tions that Fed of­fi­cials cited this week in sig­nal­ing they may raise in­ter­est rates next month.

“They’re look­ing not just for good la­bor mar­ket con­di­tions, they’re also want­ing to be con­fi­dent that they’ll reach the 2 per­cent in­fla­tion tar­get,” said Carl Tan­nen­baum, chief econ­o­mist at North­ern Trust in Chicago.

In­fla­tion has been run­ning be­low that rate in re­cent years, although it’s show­ing signs of pick­ing up.

“When wages are go­ing up, you’re much more likely to have nor­mal lev­els of in­fla­tion,” he said.

The La­bor Depart­ment’s wage data dove­tail with a Cen­sus Bu­reau re­port in Septem­ber that showed me­dian household in­come ris­ing a sharp 5.2 per­cent in 2015 from the year be­fore, ev­i­dence that the eco­nomic re­cov­ery is fi­nally pro­vid­ing re­lief to a broader pop­u­la­tion of Amer­i­cans.

BE­BETO MATTHEWS/AP

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