U.S. hiring rebounded by more than forecast in October, annual wage gains topped 3 percent for the first time since 2009 and the jobless rate held at a 48-year low, signaling the labor market will keep driving consumption and economic growth.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 250,000 after a downwardly revised 118,000 gain, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase of 200,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings for private workers advanced 3.1 percent from a year earlier and the unemployment rate was unchanged from September at 3.7 percent, both matching projections.
The figures give Republicans another economic accomplishment to tout ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections as they seek to defend control of Congress from what polls indicate will be Democratic gains. 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 U.S. stocks to their worst month since 2011.