Employment remained strong in October despite strike

Despite the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors, national hiring and employment were still strong in October.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 128,000 last month, and the unemployment rate remained little changed at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The best job gains occurred in food services and drinking establishments, social assistance, and financial activities. Jobs related to food services and drinking rose by 48,000.

Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts decreased fell by 42,000 jobs, a reflection of the strike and its national impact, the government acknowledged.

Federal government employment was also down, reflecting a drop in the number of temporary jobs for the 2020 Census.

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The jobless rate and the number of unemployed people, at 5.9 million, changed little in October.

Wages were up, too, continuing to beat inflation with average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rising by 6 cents to $28.18. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3 percent.

The 40-day strike against GM ended last week, with workers ratifying a proposed agreement. Locally, workers returned to their jobs (or began to return to their jobs) at DMAX in Moraine and Navistar in Springfield.

While national hiring has stayed strong, it has slowed somewhat compared to last year. Employers have added an average 167,000 jobs each month this year, down from the average monthly 223,000 jobs added added in 2018.

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