US adds 128,000 jobs in Oct amid GM strike

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Washington

The US labor market took a hit in October from an extended strike at General Motors but the economy kept adding jobs at a solid pace, the government reported. The steady hiring showed demand for workers remained resilient despite President Donald Trump’s protracted trade war with China, which has chilled investment and slowed the economy. Employers added 128,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department reported in the closely watched monthly employment report, defying many economists who expected a sharper slowdown. Gains in the prior two months were revised upward sharply and wages continued to climb, making the labor market picture even rosier. Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose a notch to a still-low 3.6 percent, as expected. The 3.5 percent unemployment rate in September was the lowest since 1969. While the GM strike weighed on jobs, the increase in the unemployment rate reflected growth in the labor force as 325,000 people came off the sidelines to look for work. Nearly 50,000 GM workers were called back to work this week following a 40-day strike, but not before the stoppage put a deep dent in October’s auto industry employment levels.—APP

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