Government reports 261,000 new jobs created in October, wages slip

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy generated 261,000 new jobs in October. The “headline rate” of unemployment fell to 4.1 percent. Of the total, 252,000 were created in the private sector, 9,000 in the public sector. The jobs calculation was derived through analysis of the Current Employment Survey of 147,000 business establishments. The unemployment rate was calculated from the Current Population Survey of 60,000 households.

Each month, the bureau revises estimates of job growth or loss for the previous two months because it has more complete data than were available when the job numbers were first released. For September, the revision turned a loss of 33,000 jobs into a gain of 18,000; for August, the revision was from 169,000 jobs to 208,000.

The August-September decline in job creation was largely a factor of hurricane Irma and Harvey, according to the bureau. “Leisure and Hospitality,” the category that took the biggest hit in September—a loss of

jobs—sprang back in October with a gain of 106,000 new jobs.

The consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the BLS release for October was for 325,000 new jobs and an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.2 percent.

Both full-time and part-time positions are included in the bureau’s surveys. A person who has worked a single hour a week during the survey period is counted as employed. The survey period ends around the 12th of each month, so the October report released today covers the last half of September and the first half of October, not October alone.

The average wage for all workers slipped 1 cent an hour. Compared with last October, the average year-over-year gain was 63 cents, a 2.4 percent rise against an annual inflation rate of 2.3 percent.

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