PhotoThere were fewer new jobs in October than in September, with the overall pace of job creation continuing to decline.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 last month, with the unemployment rate holding at 4.9%.

As it released its October report, the government said the September job total was revised to show a gain of 191,000, rather than the 156,000 initially reported.

Even with that change, though, employment growth has averaged 181,000 per month so far this year, well below the average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015.

For those who are working, there was some good news. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents to $25.92, on top of September's 8-cent increase. Over the year, average hourly earnings are up 2.8%.

Where the jobs are

Businesses that were hiring in October included health care (+31,000 jobs), professional and business services (+43,000), and financial activities (+14,000).

There was little change in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation & warehousing, information, leisure & hospitality, and government.

Who's working and who's not

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics dipped to 5.7% in October, while the rates for adult men (4.6%t), adult women (4.3%), teenagers (15.6%), Whites (4.3%), Blacks (8.6%), and Asians (3.4%) showed little change.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8%, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7%, changed little last month and have shown little movement in recent months, although both are up over the year.

The complete report is available on the DOL website.


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