US jobs growth in October falls short of forecasts

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New US employment data fell short of expectations in October after companies added 261,000 jobs.

Markets had forecast a rise of 310,000 jobs last month after predicting a rebound from September when hurricanes Irma and Harvey depressed hiring.

Average hourly earnings also missed targets growing by 2.4%, following expectations of 2.7% annual growth.

However, the US jobless rate fell to 4.1% in October, the lowest rate since 2000.

The US Department of Labor said employment in the food and drink industries had “increased sharply” and had mostly offset a decline in those areas in September when hurricanes devastated areas of Florida and Texas.

Job numbers for September were revised up to a gain of 18,000 after initial estimates suggested that employment fell by 33,000.

Despite October’s figures falling short of forecasts, Neil Wilson, senior market analysts at ETX Capital, said that markets see a “greater than 90% chance” that the US Federal Reserve will raising interest rates at the next monetary policy meeting in December.

But he said: “Of concern for the Fed is that wage growth has stalled and this raises doubts about the pace of inflation growth. Again it’s a case of strong jobs growth but where is the wage growth? Without wages going up the Fed is going to struggle to achieve its inflation target.”

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