November 4, 2016
In the final employment report before the presidential election, the Labor Department reported that 161,000 jobs were added last month, but also says wage growth accelerated. Those upbeat numbers gave strength to a possible Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
The official unemployment rate dropped to 4.9%, from 5%, while average hourly earnings rose 10 cents to $25.92 and are up 2.8% year over year. Wage growth is at its strongest point since 2008, and the employment-to-population ratio for prime age workers reached 78.2%, another high point.
Economists say a report that confirms job creation and increased earnings right before the election provides either candidate an opportunity to “spin” the message however they want.
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