US stocks blasted higher Friday after October jobs growth outpaced expectations.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 128,000 as the US economy overcame the weight of the strike by General Motors Company’s (NYSE:GM) 46,000 autoworkers. Economists had expected paltry growth of only 75,000 jobs.
The DJIA recently was up 149 points to 27,195.65 in morning trade.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, in line with estimates, which remains around the lowest level in 50 years.
The upbeat jobs numbers are expected to reinforce the Federal Reserve’s position to pause further cuts in interest rates as the US economy continues to grow.
Along with the better-than-expected performance in October, previous months’ counts were revised considerably higher. August’s initial 168,000 estimates came all the way up to 219,000 while September’s jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.
Together the new estimates added 95,000 positions for the two-month period, bringing the three-month average to 176,000, which is well above the pace needed to keep the unemployment rate around its current level.
For the year, monthly job creation now averages 167,000 compared to 223,000 in 2018.
Despite the unexpected increase in jobs, manufacturing job shedding 36,000 positions - the most since October 2009.
October’s strike-driven jobs plunge in manufacturing reflected a 41,600 tumble in payrolls in the auto sector. Manufacturing payrolls fell by 5,000 in September. Manufacturing is struggling under the weight of trade tariffs, which the White House has argued are intended to boost the sector.
Construction employment rose by 10,000 jobs in October. Hiring in the sector has slowed from a peak of 56,000 jobs in January. Government employment fell by 3,000 jobs last month as 20,000 temporary workers hired for the 2020 Census completed their work.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham