Thanks for joining us. Here are five key takeaways from the US employment report for October:
- Employers added 150,000 jobs last month, below forecasts for 180,000. That’s a slower pace but still showing a healthy labor market. Revisions also cut 101,000 jobs from the prior two months, though the numbers were still solid.
- The UAW strikes removed about 33,000 from payrolls in the month. The labor disputes have been tentatively resolved, so those should reflect in upcoming labor reports as workers head back to production lines.
- There were other signs of weakness in the report: average weekly hours ticked down to 34.3, usually a sign of cooling employer demand. The participation rate also moved down to 62.7%. And the unemployment rate increased to 3.9%, the highest since January 2022.
- Stock futures rallied, with the S&P 500 about 0.4% higher and Nasdaq also moving up. Treasury yields extended declines, with the 10-year close to 4.5% from above 4.9% before the FOMC meeting this week.
- The data provide a warning for workers as labor-market sentiment begins to turn, and conversely are a welcome sign for the Federal Reserve, which has been trying to cool the market. Traders now see the central bank cutting earlier than expected in June, rather than July, as wage gains ease to levels more in line with the central bank’s 2% inflation target.