Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in October

I guess we all know that government “statistics” are totally phony, but just for laughs let’s take a look at the latest jobs report. The American economy added 161,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at a modest 71,000 jobs—not great, but OK. Job estimates for August and September were revised upward by 44,000. The headline unemployment rate improved slightly to 4.9 percent and the labor force participation rate ticked down slightly to 62.8 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees were up at an annual rate of about 2.3 percent compared to last month. This continues a streak of decent increases. A genuinely tight labor market would push that up even more, but with the rest of the world in the doldrums that’s probably not likely to happen anytime soon.