The U.S. economy saw job creation decelerate in October, confirming persistent expectations for a slowdown and possibly taking some heat off the Federal Reserve in its fight against inflation.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 150,000 for the month, the Labor Department reported Friday, against the Dow Jones consensus forecast for an increase of 170,000.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, against expectations that it would hold steady at 3.8%. Employment as measured in the household survey, which is used to compute the unemployment rate, showed a decline of 348,000 workers, while the rolls of the unemployed rose by 146,000.
A more encompassing jobless rate that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons rose to 7.2%, an increase of 0.2 percentage point.
Average hourly earnings, a key measure for inflation, increased 0.2% for the month, less than the 0.3% forecast, while the 4.1% year over year again was 0.1 percentage point above expectations.
Markets reacted positively to the report, with futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 100 points.