The American economy added 128,000 jobs in October, and the headline unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning. Job growth has averaged 167,000 per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.
There were some headwinds for job numbers in October: The number of Census workers fell by about 20,000, and 20,000 striking workers at GM were also counted as unemployed. Meanwhile, job gains for August and September were revised up by 95,000. August’s additions were bumped from 168,000 to 219,000 and September’s from 136,000 180,000.
In October, food services and drinking places added 48,000 jobs. Job growth in that industry has averaged 38,000 over the past three months, compared with an average monthly gain of 16,000 in the first seven months of 2019. Employment in financial activities rose by 16,000; the financial industry has added 108,000 jobs over the last 12 months.