Pre-election job figures show October numbers slipped
- The last jobs report before the election is out, and it shows fewer jobs were added in October than September, reports Politico. Labor Department statistics show that the economy grew by 161,000 jobs in October compared with September’s job growth of 191,000. The 30,000 decrease in jobs is not expected to favor either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in Tuesday’s presidential election.
- Unemployment dropped slightly, from 5% in September to 4.9%. There’s continuous debate about the accuracy of unemployment figures because they include only people who are actively looking for work and exclude large segments of the population with consistently high unemployment rates, such as African Americans, Latinos, teenagers and those who have ended their job hunt.
- Reaction to the latest job figures was largely partisan. The White House called the growth in wages the fastest growing in 12 months since the recovery started, says Politico, while GOP critics called it disastrous and an administration failure.
The Economic Policy Institute describes the wage increase as a sign the labor market is tightening and, therefore, giving employees more leverage. Companies offering higher wages might have an advantage in attracting and hiring better qualified job candidates.
The Commerce Department had better economic news: the gross domestic product (GDP), the total dollar value of goods and services, rose to 2.9% in the third quarter of the year. The growth is a significant increase over the year’s first- and second-quarter results, of 0.8% and 1.4%, respectively. With GDP tied to productivity, companies might need to hire more workers to keep pace with the economic growth.