US: Trend of strong employment gains remains intact – Wells Fargo

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Nonfarm payrolls rose by 250K in October, surpassing expectations and after a months distorted by weather. Analysts at Wells Fargo, point out that employment rose strongly in October and that average hourly earnings rose at the highest rate in this cycle. 

Key Quotes: 

“The strong rise in payrolls in October represents, at least in part, statistical payback for the hurricane-distorted weakness in employment in September.”

“Smoothing through the monthly volatility in the overall payrolls number shows that nonfarm employment rose by an average of 218K per month during the August-through-October period, which is in line with the average monthly gain over the past 12 months. In other words, the trend of strong employment gains remains intact.”

“Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% in October. But due to some sizeable increases in recent months—earnings were up 0.4% in August and another 0.3% in September—the year-over-year increase in average hourly earnings rose to 3.1% in October. Although this rate of wage inflation remains short of the rates that were reached in the late stages of previous cycles, it represents the highest rate of wage inflation in this cycle.”

“Most analysts expect that the Federal Reserve will hike rates by another 25 bps at its December FOMC meeting, and today’s strong labor market report reinforces that expectation. Looking forward, we look for employment growth to remain generally strong, which should cause the unemployment rate to recede even further. Consequently, we look for the Fed to continue raising rates at a gradual pace into next year.”

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