The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in October, handily topping estimates even as a protracted strike was anticipated to weigh on hiring growth.
The unemployment rate held near a 50-year low, and wage increases picked up slightly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest print on the U.S. employment situation Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus economist expectations compiled by Bloomberg:
•Change in non-farm payrolls: +128,000 vs. +85,000 expected and 180,000 in September
•Change in manufacturing payrolls: -36,000 vs. -55,000 expected and -5,000 in September
•Unemployment rate: 3.6% vs. 3.6% expected and +3.5% in September
•Average hourly earnings month-on-month: +0.2% vs. +0.3% expected and 0.0% in September
•Average hourly earnings year-on-year: +3.0% vs. +3.0% expected and 3.0% in September
The October jobs report reflected the impact of a 40-day United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against General Motors (GM), which lasted from September 16 through October 26. This extended over the survey weeks for both the BLS establishment and household surveys, which captured the calendar and pay period week, respectively, that included the 12th day of the month.
Forty-six thousand workers were counted as part of the strike, according to the BLS strike report last Friday.
However, the results of the strike had less of a dampening effect than expected on the BLS establishment survey, which includes metrics including the change in non-farm payrolls.
“Manufacturing employment decreased by 36,000 in October,” the BLS said in its October report. “Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts declined by 42,000, reflecting strike activity.”
Consensus economists had anticipated, on net, a loss of 55,000 manufacturing payrolls, steepening sharply from a revised loss of 5,000 in September.