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Unemployment rates in Montreal, Quebec rise slightly in October

04 November 2017

USA job growth accelerated last month after hurricane-related disruptions hurt employment in September, but there were signs that labour market momentum was slowing as annual wage gains sharply retreated.

October's advance marked the 11th straight month of job gains, which is the longest streak in over a decade. Markets had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

Since January, unemployment in the USA has fallen by seven tenths of a percentage point, and more employers say positions are increasingly hard to fill amid a scarcity of qualified labor. Still it is the second time since July that nonbank mortgage employment was down from the previous month. Part-time employment fell 53,400 in October.

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Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes a month after large and destructive storms Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted the US economy.

As a result, the unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, the lowest it's been since December 2000.

The "other services" category led the growth in jobs with a gain of 21,400 positions, while the construction industry gained 18,400.

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Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which helps compile the report, said: "The job market rebounded strongly from the hit it took from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma".

Duncan continued, "One silver lining was the large drop in the broadest measure of labor underutilization, U-6, to 7.9 percent, matching the lowest rate of the last expansion". It added a recent decline in the jobless rate to a postcrisis low "likely overstates the degree of improvement" in the jobs market.

Wages pressures in October were flat, however, with average hourly earnings falling by a penny to $26.53.

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Almost all of the net new hiring was done at firms and organizations, as their payrolls rose 34,500, while the ranks of the self-employed - who tend to be independent contractors that aren't necessarily paid on a regular schedule - edged slightly upward.

Unemployment rates in Montreal, Quebec rise slightly in October