Non-farm payrolls increased by 128,000 in October as the US economy overcame the weight of GM auto workers' strikes and created jobs at a pace far above expectations.
Even with a decline of 42,000 in the automotive and sub-industries, the pace of new jobs well exceeded the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The loss of jobs came as a result of the General Motors strike that has since been settled. That 42,000 job losses in itself was less than the 50,000 or more that many economists had expected.
Unemployment ticked higher to 3.6%, in line with estimates, but is still the lowest in 50 years. A more comprehensive measure that includes discouraged workers and those with part-time positions for financial reasons was also up to 7%.
Unemployment for African Americans dropped to record lows of 5.4%. In addition, the total employment level, measured in the household survey, jumped to 1[ads1]58.5 million, also a new high.
The pace of the average hourly wage level increased slightly, increasing 0.1% to a gain of 3% from the previous year, also in line with estimates. The average working week was unchanged at 34.4 hours.
Major revisions upwards
Along with the better results than expected in October, previous months' count was significantly revised. August's first estimate of 168,000 came up to 219,000 while September jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.
In total, the new estimates added 95,000 jobs over the two-month period, bringing the three-month average to 176,000, well above the pace needed to keep unemployment around today's level.
During the year, now a monthly job creation is 167,000 compared to 223,000 in 2018.
The report further helps to worry about the US economy teetering on recession and helps confirm the opinion of most of the officials in Federal Reserve.
Central bank executives have largely praised the state of the US economy, especially compared to its global peers. Fed earlier this week, the benchmark rate cut a quarter-point, the third such move this year, but Chairman Jerome Powell made clear that this will probably be the last cut in some time unless conditions change significantly.
The Hottest Sectors  At the industry level, the largest job creation in food services and beverages, which yielded 48,000. While these positions are usually associated with lower wages, they can also reflect consumer demand and willingness to spend discretionary money. The industry has seen a sharp rise in job creation as of late, with an average of 38,000 in the last three months compared to 16,000 in the first seven months of this year.
Professional and business services added 22,000 and health care increased 15,000, part of a gain of 402,000 for that industry in the past year.
Social assistance increased by 20,000 while financial activity increased by 16,000, giving 108,000 total Wall Street jobs added over the past year.
Job losses came in the industry (- 36,000) as part of the GM strike, and the federal government, which withdrew 17,000 because 20,000 workers employed for census services were finished.
The total employment level in the household survey reached another record high, raised by 241,000 to 158.5 million.
The labor force expanded by 325,000 to 164.4 million and the participation rate in the labor force increased to 63.3%. Those counted as not in the workforce fell by 118,000 to nearly 95.5 million.
Having previously sat at a record low, Asian unemployment jumped 0.4 percentage point to 2.9%.