Job growth in October was unexpectedly robust, with the addition of 166,000 jobs doubling projections and easing recession fears. Analysts had predicted an increase of only 85,000 jobs; one economist said the surprise figure “will increase the Fed's conviction that it should keep rates unchanged” for months to come, Bloomberg reports. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.7%.
Factory jobs declined by 21,000, more than anticipated, but service industries added 190,000 employees. Predictors do indicate slow growth in the near future, forcing business to cut staff and bringing the unemployment rate up to 5% by mid-2008. Wages also climbed less than forecast last month, aggravating worries about the reeling housing market.