Unemployment in the U.S. fell again in October, pushing the unemployment rate to its lowest level since July 2008, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The economy created 214,000 jobs during the month, pushing the unemployment rate a tenth of a percent lower to 5.8%.
The for-hire trucking industry added 3,900 jobs during October, 2.5% higher than a year ago, while the wider transportation and warehousing industry added 13,300.
Upwardly revised figures show 256,000 jobs were added in September and 203,000 in August. This compares to previously released figures showing gains of 248,000 and 180,000, respectively.
October marks the ninth consecutive month of employers adding at least 200,000 jobs, the longest streak since 1995.
The job gains were broad-based. However, the report also showed the labor participation rate remains flat since April, while average hourly pay barely advanced from September to October. The average pay rate is only 2% higher than a year, compared to an inflation rate of 1.7%.
While the headline rise keeps the average growth rate firmly above 200,000 per month, Sterne Agee Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza says the quality of job creation isn’t enough to translate into wage pressures, “nor has a clearly sufficient decline in labor market slack forced a meaningful increase in the workweek.”
“While this morning's report does indeed mark the ninth consecutive month above 200,000, when we adjust for population, and first-time entrants including college graduates, keep in mind the market needs around 200k as a minimum just to cover demographic change,” she said. “So, while a vast improvement from days past when the economy was shedding 700,000 to 800,000 jobs on a monthly basis, relativity can only be applauded for so long. At some point the economy will need outright strength in hiring, such as 300,000 per month, to justify weaning off of extreme Federal Reserve accommodation.”