United States wage growth hits nine-year high

Loredana Gonzalez of Doral Fla. fills out a job application at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes Fla. On Friday Nov. 2 the U.S. government issues the October jobs report

The U.S. economy added 250,000 jobs in October, federal economists reported Friday in the government's last labor market snapshot before the midterm elections.

There are also signs that pay hikes are taking hold more firmly: Amazon.com Inc. just raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 for US employees.

Stock futures rose on Friday after the release of the report. "If that is starting to crack, we might see millions of more people joining the labor force".

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 190,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent. 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. The unemployment rate stayed at a five-decade low of 3.7 per cent.

President Donald Trump celebrated the figures on Twitter as "incredible" and urged his followers to "Vote Republican".

While Democratic leaders are busy fomenting agitation, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have created the "strongest labor market in a generation".

Transportation and warehousing saw gains of 25,000, while leisure and hospitality recovered from September's hurricane slowdown with 42,000 positions. The Labor Department said Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle in mid-October, "had no discernible effect on the national employment and unemployment estimates for October". Sometimes hurricanes lead to temporary layoffs and then a bounce in hiring in industries such as construction. 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.

From September 2017 to last September, the state's private sector job count increased by 109,500.

"Wow! The U.S. added 250,000 Jobs in October - and this was despite the hurricanes". That has been happening for higher-skilled workers such as engineers and welders.

Retail hiring showed no growth on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Jeffery Sanford Jr.is among the workers seeing his pay increase at a faster rate.

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"Things are changing for me", Mr. Sanford said.

According to a report last week from the research arm of the payroll processing firm ADP, for instance, American workers are earning almost $1 more per hour on average than they were a year ago. That marked the strongest annual rise since April 2009. The continued hiring and wage increases also reflect a tax-cut boost and reinforce expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for a fourth time this year in December, though such an outlook may further unsettle investors who just sent United States stocks to their worst month since 2011.

There was no real bad news in the October numbers. "That translates into more consumer consumption and a handsome picture in terms of growing the economy into next year".

"Unemployment at 3.7%. Wages UP!" Last year, it looked like the pace of job growth had started to slow, as a business cycle expansion now its ninth year began showing its age. Average weekly earnings were up 3.4% from a year earlier, matching the best since 2010, Boockvar also points out.

If individual workers don't produce more, it is hard for employers to justify pay increases that exceed price increases.

In years when the economy is performing poorly, the issue of jobs tends to poll much higher as a top concern. The Federal Reserve's preferred price measure rose 2 percent in September compared with a year earlier, slightly lower than the year-over-year increase in August.

The unemployment rate held at a multi-decade low while job gains beat expectations in October. "This job market has more room to run", said Ryan Sweet, head of monetary policy research at Moody's Analytics Inc.in West Chester, Pennsylvania. After revisions, job gains have averaged a robust 218,000 over the past three months, well above the gain needed to keep up with population growth.

But finding those workers could be a challenge, said S.B. Cha, chief executive of the Hayward, Calif., firm.

A tight labour market is also putting pressure on U.S. companies to raise wages. As a hedge against that, Kinestral moved its software-development team to Salt Lake City a few years ago.

"In Silicon Valley, you have to pay whatever Apple and Google want to pay", he said.

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