U.S. Sees Strongest Annual Growth in Wages in October

November 4, 2016 Pete Jansons

BLS april 2016

While U.S. job growth in October didn’t meet economists’ predictions, growth in hourly earnings far exceeded expectations.

The U.S. added 161,000 new jobs in October, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this number is lower than the expected gain of 175,000 jobs, it is well within the means of healthy job growth. What’s more, the BLS revised upward the job gains in both August (from the originally reported 167,000 new jobs to 176,000 new jobs) and September (from 156,000 new jobs to 191,000). That’s a total of 44,000 additional jobs for those two months!

The real highlight of the report, however, was the 10 cent rise in hourly earnings, bringing average wagest to $25.92 an hour. Wages are now up 2.8 percent year over year, the strongest annual growth in wages recorded since the recession, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The unemployment rate ticked down slightly, back to 4.9 percent. Once again, the industries that saw the biggest gains were professional and business services (adding 43,000 jobs) and health care (adding 31,000 jobs).

October marks the 73rd consecutive month of job growth, and has “averaged over 200,000 job gains a month for most of the past couple of years,” according to NPR’s John Ydstie.

As I always say, small businesses are a major driver of economic growth in this country, so I urge you to keep doing what you are doing to attract, engage and retain your best asset – your people.

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