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The unemployment rate stood firm

The unemployment rate stood firm at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in nearly a half-century, according to the BLS report issued Nov. 2.. U.S.A. nonfarm payroll employment grew by 250,000 jobs in October 2018, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

October saw large gains in manufacturing (up 32,000 jobs), professional and business services (up 35,000), construction (up 30,000), leisure and hospitality (up 42,000) and health care (up 36,000), the BLS said.

Mining, however, gained only 5,000 jobs, and growth was flat in retail and wholesale trade, the agency said.

On Oct. 31, payroll services firm ADP Inc. released its own report, saying that nonfarm private employment in the U.S. grew by 227,000 jobs in October.

Large businesses (500 employees and up) accounted for nearly half the monthly growth, with 102,000 new jobs, ADP said.

There were 96,000 new jobs in medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees), but only 29,000 in small businesses (one to 49 employees), the company said.

Goods-producing businesses added 38,000 jobs, including 17,000 in manufacturing, 17,000 in construction and 4,000 in mining, according to ADP.

Service providers grew by 189,000 jobs, including 61,000 in trade/transportation/utilities and 36,000 in professional/business services, it said.

Franchise employment grew by 13,200 jobs in October, including 6,900 in auto parts and dealers, ADP said.

Industry pundits greeted the strong employment figures warmly.


The unemployment rate stood firm

“With 32,000 jobs added in manufacturing, and 296,000 total this year, averaging nearly 25,000 jobs per month, the numbers released today show U.S. manufacturers continue to grow and hire despite facing challenges, including a massive worker shortage and global uncertainty,” Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, also was pleased at the employment news, but still sounded a cautionary note.

“If there is any employment impact from tariffs or retaliation, it’s being more than washed away by the overall strength of the manufacturing economy,” Mr. Paul said.

“That said, tariffs alone aren’t going to keep manufacturing strong,” he said. “We need to see structural economic reforms in China, a better deal for workers through fairer trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and the European Union, as well as a renewed effort to crack down on exchange rate misalignment and manipulation,” he said.

Hiring is strong among the nation’s small businesses, according to the October 2018 Monthly Jobs Report from the National Federation of Independent Business.

However, 38 percent of employers responding to the NFIB survey reported job openings they could not fill during the month.

“The labor force is not growing quickly enough to satisfy the demand,” NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg said.

“The unemployment rate is expected to be lower, which means that the increase in labor force participation will not be sufficient to meet new labor demands.”

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