The U.S. labor market continues to show signs of gradual strengthening, with newly released government data showing the economy added 161,000 jobs last month. Annual wage growth surged to levels not seen since the financial crisis, while the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in October from 5 percent the previous month.
While monthly job gains for October were slightly below expectations — economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected U.S. employers to add 173,000 new jobs last month — the Labor Department on Friday also revised upward its estimates for job creation in August and September, adding a combined 44,000 jobs. Some economist also cautioned that Hurricane Matthew may have temporarily prevented businesses from adding to their payrolls.
The final piece of economic data released before the presidential election Tuesday, the jobs report showed an economy that is steadily emerging from the shadow of the Great Recession, though it is still below its pre-2008 strength.