US economy adds 128,000 jobs in October despite lengthy GM strike

US economy adds 128,000 jobs in October despite lengthy GM strike

US employers added a solid 128,000 jobs in October, a figure that was held down by a now-settled strike against General Motors that caused several thousand workers to be temporarily counted as unemployed.

The better-than-expected figures, together with upward revisions from two previous months, suggests a jobs market that could give consumers confidence to keep spending despite weak business investment, slowing economies in Europe and China, and international trade tensions.

The latest numbers appear to validates the opinion of US central bankers that the jobs market is “strong” and reinforces the Federal Reserve’s hint that it will pause rate cuts after its third quarter-point reduction this month.

The GM strike, which ended last week, contributed to the loss of 41,600 auto factory jobs in October. But the settlement will likely lead to a rebound in the coming months.

The report revised upward job gains in the prior two months by a combined 95,000, suggesting a healthier job market than initially believed.

James Ingram, investment manager at stockbroker MB Capital, said the figures were “somewhat stronger than our estimates and suggests the underlying economy remains resilient to trade disputes and the pace of job growth remains good”.

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