The U.S. added more jobs in October than expected by economists and investment strategists, practically assuring that the Federal Reserve this year will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.
The non-farm payrolls report
showed that the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, the lowest in seven and a half years, as 271,000 people found work last month. Economists were looking for 180,000 jobs.
The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its decision on rates at its next meeting in December. It has held its target rate near zero percent
since 2008, as the economy fell into the steepest decline since the Great Depression.
Newsmax Finance has compiled reaction from economists:
“The recent 3-month trend of 187,000 will continue to pressure the unemployment rate lower, reducing slack in the labor market. And in our view, even with slower job average job growth of 150,000 going forward, the unemployment rate should reach 4.5 percent by the end of next year.” — Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
“In terms of sectors, what stood out was construction (+ 31,000) in a testament to the improvement in both the residential and commercial segments, and retail (+44,000, the best tally since November 2014) as merchants seem to be taking on a bullish assessment towards the upcoming holiday shopping season.” — David Rosenberg, chief strategist, Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc.
“Financial conditions and further dollar strength remain potential hurdles, but we expect the Fed to manage this by delivering a dovish rate hike at the December meeting (as we expected in September). In other words, it is déjà vu all over again.” — Aneta Markowska and Brian Jones, economists, Societe Generale
“The Fed is way behind the curve on the labor market side, and if the current economic momentum is sustained, then the Fed is going to have to hike rates less gradually and ultimately by more than either the FOMC itself or market participants currently believe.” — Stephen Stanley, chief economist, Amherst Pierpont Securities
“The October report removes any excuse for the Fed to keep rates at zero. The more interesting issue is whether the strong October report represents a one-time blip in the aftermath of the weak August and September performance, or is an early sign of growth that will remain above the 2.2 percent average since the recovery began.” — Douglas Holtz-Eakin, economist, American Action Forum
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