Jobs Report: 161,000 New Jobs in October, Wages Up 2.8 Percent

November 4, 2016

The latest jobs numbers are out from the federal government. What do they mean for job seekers and employers? Here’s a quick take from Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain:

This morning’s jobs report provides the last update on the U.S. labor market before the anticipated November 8th elections. The report revealed a strong and growing labor market, with 161,000 new jobs added and an unemployment rate down to 4.9 percent.

Economists feared the impact of Hurricane Matthew might temporarily depress job growth figures in October—something other storms have done in the past. However, those effects did not materialize, and October’s report showed strong job growth across a variety of sectors. Today’s strong report likely will increase the chances of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike at their upcoming December meeting.

The bright spot in today’s jobs report was wage growth. According to Glassdoor’s Local Pay Report based on Glassdoor data, U.S. median pay grew 2.8 percent year-over-year in October. Today’s jobs report showed the same 2.8 percent growth in average hourly wages from a year ago—a clear acceleration in wage gains from previous months as the labor market tightens in many cities.

The biggest job gains in October were in professional and business services (which includes many tech jobs) (+43,000 jobs), health care (+39,100 jobs), government (+19,000 jobs) and finance (+14,000 jobs). The weakest sectors for job growth were manufacturing (-9,000 jobs), mining and logging (-2,000 jobs) and retail (-1,100 jobs).

Today’s report marks 73 consecutive months of positive job gains—an all-time record since the 1930s, which spans almost the full length of the Obama administration’s time in the White House. Whoever the next president of the West Wing is in 2017, they will be fortunate to inherit one of the strongest and most stable labor markets in a generation.

To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about today’s jobs report or to discuss labor market trends, contact pr at Glassdoor dot com. For the latest economics and labor market updates, follow @adchamberlain on Twitter and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research.