October Payrolls Miss, Rise 161,000 After Upward Revisions, Wages Beat; Unemployment Rate Dips To 4.9%

With the whisper numbers suggesting a modest beat heading into today's October NFP, expected by consensus to print at 173K, moments ago the BLS reported that in October jobs rose by 161K, missing expectations, however in line with historical precedent, the September print of 156K was revised upward to 191K, while the change in employment for August was revised up from +167,000 to +176,000, resulting in combined employment gains in August and September if 44,000 more than previously reported.

While the establishment survey was strong, the Household survey was not, and posted a drop of 43,000 employed workers to 151,925K, the first monthly decline since April.

The unemployment rate dipped modestly from 5.0% to 4.9%, in line with expectations. The Labor force participation rate declined from 62.9% to 62.8%.

Average hourly earnings rose by a hotter than expected 0.4%, beating estimates of 0.3%, while September was also revised upward from 0.2% to 0.3%. Average weekly hours remained unchanged at 33.4, as expected.

More details from the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October. Thus far in 2016, employment growth has averaged 181,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. In October, employment continued to trend up in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities.

Health care employment rose by 31,000 in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+13,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 415,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in October (+43,000) and has risen by 542,000 over the year. Over the month, a job gain occurred in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Employment in management and technical consulting services continued to trend up (+5,000).

In October, employment in financial activities continued on an upward trend (+14,000), with a gain in insurance carriers and related activities (+8,000).

Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents to $25.92, following an 8-cent increase in September. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.8 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.72 in October. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from +167,000 to +176,000, and the change for September was revised up from +156,000 to +191,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 44,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.