US adds 271,000 jobs in October, increasing odds of interest rate hike

Total employment in the U.S. increased by 271,000 last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The increase was the largest of the year, and the 5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in seven years. Average hourly earnings over the past 12 months climbed 0.4 percent, the most since 2009.

The strong jobs report means there’s a “high likelihood” that the Federal Reserve Bank will raise interest rates at its December meeting, former Fed economist Michael Feroli told Bloomberg.

Fed officials said last month they would consider a rate increase at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen said a December increase was a possibility.

Job gains in October occurred in business services, retail trade, food and drink places, construction and health care. Health care added 45,000 jobs in October, and retail trade rose by 44,000, according to the report.

Employment in mining continued its downward trend, losing 5,000 jobs. The sector has lost 109,000 jobs since peaking in December 2014. Other industries such as information, manufacturing, government and financial activities showed little to no change, according to the report.

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