Auto Strike Weakens Job Growth; Unemployment Rate Edges Up; Earnings Remain Weak

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • Unemployment rate in October ROSE to 3.6 percent from 3.5 percent in September;
  • Number of payroll jobs INCREASED 128,000 in October,
  • Average weekly earnings ROSE in October to $969.39, a 2.7 percent year-year gain, up from  the 2.6 percent year-year gain in September;
  • Average hourly earnings ROSE  in October  to $28.18 a 3.0 percent annual increase, up from 2.9 percent in August
  • Private sector jobs INCREASED 131,000; Government payrolls FELL 3,000,led by a decline of 17,000 federal government jobs;
  • Prior month job totals were REVISED UP SIGNIFICANTLY, up 95,000; the number of new jobs in September was revised from 136,000 to 180,000, the number of new jobs in July was revised to 219,000 from 168,000;
  • The Labor Force participation rate rose to 63.3 percent, highest since July 2013;
  • Manufacturing sector LOST 36,000 jobs, principally the auto sector which had 41,600 fewer jobs than in September;
  • The unemployment rate for teenagers FELL to 12.3 percent from 12.5 percent in September but higher than 12.0 percent in October 2018.
  • The unemployment rate for Blacks fell to 5.4 percent, a new record low;
  • The unemployment rate for those over 25 without a high school diploma ROSE sharply to 5.6 percent from a record low 4.8 percent in September;
  • The number of persons not in the labor force DECLINED 118,000 to 95.48 million.


  • Payroll jobs were up for the 1098h straight month
  • Low-wage retail and leisure-and-hospitality jobs accounted for 52.4 percent of total jobs gains, highest share since January 2016 (59.1 percent);
  • Retail jobs rose for the second month in a row (after revisions) following seven straight

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics:

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