October jobs report signals strong wage growth

The latest jobs report was recently released and the findings point to a healthy U.S. economy on a number of different levels.

The latest jobs report was recently released and the findings point to a healthy U.S. economy on a number of different levels.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 161,000 jobs were created in October. These findings were bolstered by strong hiring trends in health care, professional and business services, as well as the financial sector.

Dissecting the report

September's gains were revised in this most recent report, up to 191,000 from 156,000. This is due, in part, to the effects of Hurricane Matthew, but also seasonal job trends, the BLS reported. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from its previously recorded 5 percent level, though this change is minor as the latter is seen by economists as a reasonable target for a healthy economy.

"Wages grew 2.8% in the last year."

Most important is the fact that year-over-year wage growth has blossomed 2.8 percent and average hourly wage now sits at $25.92. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the highest rate of annual salary growth seen since 2009, when the economic recovery from the Great Recession started taking place. This is certainly good news for job seekers and those looking for seasonal work, as it shows employers are willing to pay more in an increasingly competitive market.

"October was a very busy month in Boston in terms of jobs," noted Kate Harris, Division Director of Beacon Hill's HR Division in Boston. "We have seen many newly created add-to- staff roles and backfills. Salaries also appear to be on the rise in the HR market."

The modest hiring improvements signal the economy is reasonably healthy going into the new year, and it's likely this month will be revised in the next job report as having gained more jobs than previously expected. With a raise in pay, a drop in unemployment and increased hiring across the board, the country is seeing signs of strong all-around post-Recession growth.

Where's the growth?

The three aforementioned industries are the primary growth drivers, but new jobs are seemingly coming from every which way. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Health care added 31,000 new workers in October, bringing its total to 415,000 on the year. Once again, ambulatory health care services led the way with 19,000 new positions.
  • Professional and business services accounted for 43,000 new positions, and 542,000 in 2016. Technical consulting services saw a 5,000-person increase ahead of holiday shopping.
  • Finance contributed 14,000 new jobs to the economy, with insurance carriers providing 8,000.
  • Other industries like information, government, and leisure and hospitality provided small changes to the employment figure.

"October was one of our strongest hiring months this year in the Philadelphia area," says Vanessa Keenan, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Philadelphia. "Rates for IT consultants continue to be strong since they are in such high demand. The majority of hires were in the healthcare and financial industries."

With seasonal hiring expected to pick up this November and December, job seekers find themselves in an opportunistic situation to be looking for new work.

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