October Jobs Report Reveals Highest Wage Growth Since 2009

Nov 05, 2018
| Michael Altiero
October 2018 Jobs Report Data

As we inch closer to the end of the year, experts and industry professionals have been paying even more attention to the monthly Jobs Reports as the numbers continue to impress.

The September report, while mostly positive, didn’t meet the expectations of many economists and industry experts, especially with the labor market results.

Once again, the data from the October Jobs Report was highly anticipated, and the statistics are very encouraging as we move towards the end of 2018. Let’s take a closer look at the results, which were released this past Friday.
 

Wage Growth Has Highest Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2009

Perhaps the most tracked statistic in the Jobs Report in recent months has been year-over-year wage growth. Despite the impressive growth in the jobs market over the last several years, wage growth has remained stagnant.

September’s wage growth came in at 2.8%, which was down from August’s number. So, what was the result in October?

Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents to $27.30, which meant wage growth reached 3.1%. This is the first time since mid-2009 that wage growth has been over 3%.

However, many experts and publications weren’t surprised by what should have been an extremely positive result.

This is because the wage growth in October 2017 was very weak, which helped to boost the number for 2018. Even so, experts are happy to see wage growth statistics trending in the right direction as the year comes to an end.
 

The Labor Market Remains Strong

One of the biggest disappointments with the September Jobs Report came from the fact that job creation estimates greatly missed expectations with 134,000 new jobs.

October saw this number come roaring back and exceed expectations. Economists predicted there to be around 200,000 new jobs added. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 250,000 jobs were created in October.

These results were very encouraging after September’s data was the lowest since September 2017.

Additionally, the Labor Department announced recently that there are currently a record 7.1 million job openings in the United States, further showing just how strong the labor market continues to be.
 

Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged

September saw unemployment rate fall to 3.7%, the lowest it has been since December 1969. It also beat expectations by one-tenth of a percentage point.

In October, unemployment rate remained the same at 3.7%. This was once again seen as an extremely positive result, and it met expectations set by most economists and industry experts.

Both the added jobs and unemployment rate mark the 97th straight month of economic growth in the United States.
 

More Positive Trends for the Labor Market

The October Jobs Report once again showed the strength of the United States economy and the labor market.

As we move towards the end of 2018 and into 2019, it will be interesting to see how unemployment, job growth, and wage growth change.

Experts still want to see continued wage growth from month-to-month which has been expected given the amount of jobs created and the low unemployment rate.

Lastly, these trends in the labor market have made recruiting talent increasingly more challenging for employers. It will be interesting to see how employers manage to adjust as the labor market continues to favor job seekers.

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