USA unemployment rate falls to 4.1 per cent, lowest in 17 years


US unemployment rate falls to 4.1 per cent, lowest in 17 years

Despite adding jobs, Canada's unemployment rate increased to 6.3 per cent, up from 6.2 per cent in September. The consensus call among traders was for a 15,000-job advance, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

The sharp moderation in job growth in September was blamed on hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which devastated parts of Texas and Florida in late August and early September, leaving workers, mostly in lower-paying industries such as leisure and hospitality, temporarily unemployed. The uptick in the unemployment rate was attributed to more people - 56,800 - joining the labor force to look for a job.

Since January of this year, unemployment in the USA has decreased by seven tenths of a percentage point.

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

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

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Since the beginning of 2017, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.7 percentage point, and the number of unemployed persons has decreased by 1.1 million.

October's strong jobs data "suggest there is still some life left in the economic upswing", BMO Capital Markets chief economist Doug Porter said.

On the wage front, average hourly pay rose 2.4% in October from a year ago, following a 2.2% advance in September.

Additionally, wages rose from the same time previous year by 2.4 percent but slowed somewhat from last month.

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".

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