The U.S. economy added 161,000 nonfarm payroll positions in October, according to today's monthly employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure—a slight drop from September's upwardly revised addition of 191,000 jobs—falls short of the Wall Street Journal's expectation of 173,000. Economists say the slower job addition in October could be partially attributed to Hurricane Matthew, which left a dent on the economy in the Southeast, according to Wall Street Journal.
The national unemployment rate was roughly stable at 4.9 percent, while the labor-force participation rate was little changed at 62.8 percent. Average hourly wages for private, nonfarm workers continued to a rise to $25.92 in October, a 10-cent gain month-over-month, compared to the eight-cent increase in September. Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America, a trade credit insurance firm, told CNBC that the solid wage growth would possibly lead to a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December, a move that has been expected by many economists.
After gaining 23,000 jobs in the previous month, the construction industry slowed a bit in October but still managed to add 11,000 payroll positions. The manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, losing 9,000 jobs in October. Meanwhile, the architectural and engineering services sector gained 3,000 positions in October, its sixth consecutive month of growth.
From the BLS's historical data release: The BLS also releases detailed information subsets of key markets with a one month lag, in this case offering more detailed information of the architectural and engineering services category's response to the broader economy's hiring slowdown in June. The charts below highlight a monthly job-growth breakdown of the architectural services, landscape architectural services, and engineering and drafting services between September 2015 and September 2016. Details of these subcategories' October performance will be revealed in next month's historical data release.