• Total non-farm payroll employment increased 250 thousand in October, following an increase of 118 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 246 thousand in October, while government employment increased by 4 thousand. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.
  • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% in October. The unemployment rate was 4.1% in October 2017.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 111 thousand to 6.075 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 11 thousand to 1.373 million and accounted for 22.5% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9% in October, but has shown little change over the past 12 months.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.
  •  In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.1%.
  • Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in September 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.8% for the 12-month period ending in September 2018, compared with a compensation costs increase of 2.5% in September 2017. Wages and salaries increased 2.9% for the 12-month period ending in September 2018, while benefit costs increased 2.6%.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.2% during the third quarter of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 4.1% and hours worked increased 1.8%. From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, productivity increased 1.3%, reflecting a 3.7% increase in output and a 2.4% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 1.2% in the third quarter of 2018, reflecting a 3.5% increase in hourly compensation and a 2.2% increase in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.5% over the last four quarters.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 214 thousand in the week ending October 27. The 4-week moving average was 213.75 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 20 was 1,631 thousand, a decrease of 7 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since July 28, 1973 when it was 1,603 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,640.75 thousand, a decrease of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since August 11, 1973 when it was 1,627.25 thousand.
  • According to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 16 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 4.2% increase in real GDP in the second quarter. 
  • Personal income increased 0.2% in September according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income increased 0.2% and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%. Real disposable personal income increased 0.1% in September, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.1%, while the core index (excluding food and energy) increased 0.2%. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 2.0% from September 2017. The core index also increased 2.0% from a year ago.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 0.7% in September, while shipments increased 0.9%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 8.4%, while shipments were up 7.5%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $54.0 billion in September from $53.3 billion in August (revised), as exports increased to $212.6 billion and imports increased to $266.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • September construction spending was up less than 0.1% from the previous month, and was up 7.2% from a year ago. Residential construction increased 0.5%, while nonresidential construction decreased 0.3%. Total private construction increased 0.3% in September, while total public construction decreased 0.9%.
  • The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.8% annual gain in August, down from 6.0% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 5.1%, down from 5.5% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.5% year-over-year gain, up from 5.9% the previous month.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates dropping slightly after last week’s increases. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.83% for the week ending November 1, down from last week when it averaged 4.86%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.94%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.23%, down from the previous week when it averaged 4.29%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.27%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.5% from one week earlier,  according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 26, 2018.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved modestly in September, increased again in October. The Index now stands at 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September. The Present Situation Index increased from 169.4 to 172.8, while the Expectations Index rose from 112.5 to 114.6.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 114th consecutive month.

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