WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a solid 128,000 jobs in October, a figure that was held down by a now-settled strike against General Motors that caused several thousand workers to be temporarily counted as unemployed.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.5% to 3.6%, still near a five-decade low. For the second straight month, average hourly wages rose 3% from a year ago.
The GM strike contributed to the loss of 41,600 auto factory jobs in October. But the settlement will likely lead to a rebound in the coming months. The report revised upward job gains in the prior two months by a combined 95,000, suggesting a healthier job market than initially believed.
Still, hiring has slowed this year. Gains averaged just 167,000 in the past 10 months, down from a monthly average of 223,000 in 2018, according to Labor Department figures.