*As we head into the weekend prior to the US presidential election between Democrat Hilary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the employment numbers (jobs report) for October have been released.
All in all the numbers bode well for Clinton as the status quo is not looking too bad. This is not exactly something Trump can truthfully use to his advantage, although it would surprise no one if he takes the report and makes it negative.
Speaking of the report, US employers added a decent 161,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9%, from 5%, according to government figures released Friday. As we noted up top, it was the final report on a lukewarm but durable economy before Americans choose a new president next week.
The Labor Department also said that average hourly pay took a big step higher last month, rising 10 cents an hour to an average $25.92. That is 2.8% higher than a year ago, the biggest 12-month increase in seven years.
The pickup in hourly pay follows a substantial increase last year in earnings for the typical household. The economy appears to be finally delivering widespread raises after years of sluggish pay gains. With the unemployment rate near healthy levels, businesses are likely trying harder to attract workers.