Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Point Since December 2000

Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Point Since December 2000

The falling jobless rate is likely to sharpen the debate among Federal Reserve policymakers, who appear set to raise the benchmark interest rate next month despite stubbornly low inflation. The leisure and hospitality industry was hardest hit by the hurricanes in September, shedding 111,000 jobs.

Last month's acceleration in employment growth re-inforces the Fed's assessment on Wednesday that "the labour market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions".

The agency said the number of full-time positions swelled by 88,700, while part-time employment dropped by 53,400 jobs. Information, culture and recreation industries added 15,300 jobs.

USA labor reports for October were released Friday, and the numbers were slightly better than what was initially expected.




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.

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. This marked the first time in a year and a half that average hourly wages rose 2% or more on an annual basis for two consecutive months.

The robust employment report comes as growth slows in Canada after a stellar 12-month run that positioned Canada as the top-performing economy among the Group of Seven.

In its rate decision and quarterly forecast released last week, Canada's central bank said modest wage gains and a below-average level of hours worked suggest there is still "some excess capacity" in the labor market.

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