U.S. businesses added 250,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said on Friday—a blowout number that surpassed Wall Street’s expectation.
The monthly average job creation now stands at about 180,000 for the last three months. That incorporates revised data for September, which saw an unusually low jobs figure thanks to Hurricane Florence.
Wages jumped. Average monthly earnings increased 3.1 percent from the year before, the first time in the current economic expansion that the figure has crossed the 3 percent mark. Other data released this week shows that compensation costs are now rising more quickly. The last time wages grew this quickly was in 2009.
The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7 percent, the lowest it’s been in nearly 50 years.
The good news foreshadows more interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve. “With consumer confidence at its highest point since 2000 and GDP growth at an impressive 3.5% this quarter, there is an even stronger case for continuing to raise interest rates into 2019,” said Rick Steve, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group.