(Politico) ASSOCIATED PRESS 11/01/2019 08:44 AM WASHINGTON U.S. employers added a solid 128000 jobs in October a figure that was held down by a now-settled strike against General Motors that caused several thousand workers to be temporarily counted as unemployed. The Labor Department also said Friday that the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.5 to 3.6 still near a five-decade low. For a second straight month average hourly wages rose 3 from a year ago. The GM strike contributed to the loss of 41600 auto factory jobs in October. But the settlement will likely lead to a rebound in the coming months. The report revised upward job gains in the prior two months by a combined 95000 suggesting a healthier job market than initially believed. Still hiring has slowed this year. Gains averaged just 167000 in the past 10 months down from a monthly average of 223000 in 2018 according to Labor Department figures. Even so job growth remains high enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising in an otherwise mostly lackluster economy. On Wednesday the government estimated that the economy grew in the July-October quarter at a modest 1.9 annual rate. Surveys suggest that employers have turned cautious in large part because of heightened uncertainties caused by President Donald Trumps trade conflicts. The president has imposed tariffs on many goods imported to the U.S. and other nations have retaliated with import taxes on U.S. exports. One result is that companies especially in manufacturing construction and retail but also in some other sectors have slowed their hiring or have stopped hiring altogether. Still consumers who drive about 70 of U.S. economic activity have remained generally resilient. In September they modestly stepped up their spending and their incomes grew fast enough to let them save more too. A rising saving rate is encouraging because it suggests that households have leeway to keep spending and supporting an economic expansion that has entered a record-breaking 11th year.
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