Jobs report shows promising wage growth
Good employment market could boost Clinton’s chances
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.