Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research Director Mike Hicks says today’s national employment report "reflects a sluggish, and maybe faltering recovery." The October numbers show 161,000 new jobs, but a decline of 195,000 in the labor force. The nationwide unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent.
He said "most troublingly, real wage growth stalled in October, rising at less than the rate of inflation across all industries. Manufacturing wages shrank for the typical worker in October."
Hicks discussed a few other key figures including:
- Slight increase in involuntary part-time employment
- 293,000 increase in workers with multiple jobs
- Decline in the number of workers holding full-time employment in one job
- All net job gains came from workers holding two or more jobs
- A "growing slackness" in manufacturing, which Hicks explains as "hours worked are down slightly from this time last year, and manufacturing employment contracted slightly over the month."
In conclusion, he said "this jobs report signals a recovery that is not expanding in fourth quarter of 2016."