US employers took on new workers at a fairly brisk pace last month, with 214,000 jobs added.
The unemployment rate fell to a six year low at 5.8 percent from September’s 5.9 percent .
The decline came even as more people entered the labour force, a sign of strength in the jobs market and the numbers underscore the US economy’s resilience despite slowing global demand.
Data for August and September were revised upwards which means job growth has exceeded 200,000 in each of the last nine months, the longest such stretch since 1994. September’s total was 256,000 and August’s was 203,000.
The relatively strong pace of job gains signals that the slack in the US labour market is being absorbed.
That in turn should lead to higher wages boosting consumer spending
But for now wage growth is meagre with average hourly earnings rising much less than they did before the recession. The average hourly wage rose only three cents last month for a 2.0 percent year-on-year change.
That is one of the factors the Federal Reserve is focused on in deciding when interest rates can be raised.
It is also considering the labour force participation rate – which improved – and the numbers of long-term unemployed – which fell.
The participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, increased by one-tenth of percentage point to 62.8 percent, bouncing back after two straight months of declines.
The employment-to-population ratio increased to 59.2, the highest level since 2009.
A broad measure of joblessness that includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment fell to 11.5 percent, the lowest level since September 2008.
The White House welcomed the data, but said more has to be done.
Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said: “With today’s report, the unemployment rate is falling as fast as at any point in the last 30 years, and the economy is on pace for its best year of job growth since the late 1990s. The economy has come a long way since the crisis six years ago, but more must be done to create jobs for those still searching for work and ensure that those working see the strengthening economy translate into rising wages.”