The U.S. economy generated 214,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate slipped slightly to 5.8 percent, but wage growth remained sluggish, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
The jobless rate, which edged lower from 5.9 percent in September, is the lowest since July 2008. Job growth has exceeded 200,000 in each of the last nine months. Average hourly earnings rose only three cents last month, leaving the year-on-year change at 2.0 percent. Wages will need to pick up to spur more consumer spending and help move the economy into higher gear. The share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, increased by one-tenth of percentage point to 62.8 percent, bouncing back after two straight months of declines. The employment-to-population ratio increased to 59.2, the highest level since 2009. A broad measure of joblessness that includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment fell to 11.5 percent, the lowest level since September 2008.
-- Reuters and NBC News Staff