Strong hiring drives unemployment rate to 5%
NEW YORK — The job market regained momentum in a big way in October.
The U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, far better than sluggish gains in September and any forecasts.
The unemployment rate fell to 5%, its lowest level since 2008.
Before Friday’s good job news, the concern had been that the global economic slowdown was starting to affect hiring in the United States. Job growth has slowed down considerably since July.
But Friday’s strong number tones down those fears — for now.
Wage growth showed signs of life too. Average hourly earnings rose 2.5%, its best pick up in years.
The solid jobs number has major implications for the Federal Reserve. Its officials, led by Chair Janet Yellen, are strongly considering raising interest rates in December for the first time in almost a decade. Rates have been at zero since the financial crisis in 2008.
Today’s better-than-expected report increases the odds the Fed will act in December.