The longest period of economic expansion in United States history continues with Friday’s release of the October jobs report. The Labor Department reported that America added 128,000 jobs last month. This keeps U.S. unemployment hovering at a low 3.6%.
Despite overall skepticism, there was plenty of positive news in the report, which surprised many economists and forecasters. The employment figures were strong, especially in the face of striking GM workers, which stalled business production at the large automaker, Boeing’s grounding of a promising, new jet after two deadly crashes with its aircraft, worries about fallout from trade and tariff battles and the loss of 20,000 temporary census workers.
Job creation in both September and August were revised upward by 95,000. Growth in worker wages outpaced inflation and average hourly earnings climbed 3%—compared to the same period last year. Total U.S. employment hit a new high, as 158.5 million people are participating in the workforce.
The unemployment rate for African Americans fell to a new record low of 5.4% and so did Hispanic at 4.1%. Asian Americans have an exceptionally low unemployment rate at 2.9%. Adult men and women are both at 3.2% unemployment. To put these numbers into perspective, economists maintain that 4.1% to about 5% is considered full employment. This amount allows for the usual variety of reasons a person would be in between jobs.
Once again, the professional economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal were incorrect in their predictions. The analysts were too negative claiming that payrolls would only grow by 75,000 in October. President Donald Trump took the opportunity to tweet-brag about the report.