BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 128,000 jobs in October, higher than forecasts. Additions occurred in the food service and social assistance industries, while manufacturing fell due partly to striking auto workers. In addition, both August (51k) and September (44k) job figures were revised higher. The unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 3.6%, Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% for October and 3.0% on an annual basis, and Average Weekly Hours held steady at 34.4. Overall, a strong report with a headline number that looks even better considering the temporary auto strike and revisions to previous months. The labor market remains firm. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continued with their mid-cycle rate cuts, announcing an additional 25 basis point reduction this week. Given their statement, the Federal Reserve is likely on hold in the months ahead as long as inflation remains near current levels and economic conditions do not deteriorate. In all, bond yields ticked higher following the strong jobs report and equity futures are higher heading into the market open.
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