U.S. Payroll Up 150,000 in October, Shows Signs of Weakening

(Image via the Bureau for Labor Statistics)

The U.S. economy added 150,000 nonfarm employment jobs in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Job gains occurred in health care, government and social assistance, and declined in manufacturing due to recent strike activity.

“The job market continued to fare reasonably well in October but showed signs of weakening–there was a slowing in the pace of job growth, hiring is occurring across fewer industries and previous months’ numbers were revised lower,” MBA VP and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said. “While the job market remains generally resilient, inflation is still the key metric for the Fed as it weighs the policy path over the next few months. We continue to expect them to hold the fed funds rate at its current level until 2024, when their next rate move is likely to be a cut.”

The unemployment rate now sits at 3.9%, with 6.5 million unemployed persons. That’s up slightly from recent lows in April, by 0.5 percentage points and 859,000 individuals.

“Additionally, job gains in August and September were revised downward by a combined 101,000, again pointing to a decelerating labor market,” Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, said.

“Wages grew at a 4.1% year-over-year pace, continuing to decelerate from the peak values seen in 2022, and lessening the inflationary pressures present in the economy,” Duncan continued.

On a sector-specific note, “Residential building construction employment was up 0.6% year over year, while non-residential was up by 5.5%,” noted First American Economist Ksenia Potapov. “Compared with pre-pandemic levels, residential building employment is up 11.7%, while non-residential building is up 3.3%.”