October provided good news for the economy. The economy added 271,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a big increase over September’s number of 137,000 jobs. The unemployment rate also fell fractionally from 5% to 5.1%.
Average hourly private-sector earnings were up 9 cents, which, if sustained, will finally start producing real wage gains for ordinary working Americans.
In response to the October jobs report, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William E. Spriggs said:
While this month’s numbers are good, job growth has yet to deliver sustained wage gains that working people need to lead better lives. This means we face the deeper challenge of fashioning policy changes to create the institutional structure for shared prosperity; aggressive, progressive solutions, not corporate driven trade deals. Unfortunately, while our economy remains fragile, the now public TPP text proves our fears of just how damaging it could be to our economy. The fight for full employment and rising wages starts with rejecting this bad deal and embracing economic policies that put people and families first.
AFL-CIO Senior Economic Policy Adviser Thomas Palley added:
This report is strong, which is good news. But the report also reveals the contradictions in our economy. Good news for Main Street is interpreted as bad news by Wall Street. The challenge for the Federal Reserve, and the standard by which it will be judged, is to ensure this type of news becomes ‘normal’ and not a one month exception that is used to justify hitting the brakes.
This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on November 10, 2015. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Jackie Tortora is the blog editor and social media manager at the AFL-CIO.