U.S. non-farm employers added 250,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department reported Friday. The figure beat an average forecast of 208,000 new jobs by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The gains were enough to keep the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent, a 48-year low.
The continued strong hiring has made it harder for employers to find and keep workers, contributing to higher take-home pay for employees. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent last month to $27.30 an hour. The wage increase over the past 12 months rose to 3.1 percent from 2.8 percent, marking the first time that number has reached 3 percent since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. Harold Maass