The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, and workers' wage growth accelerated, a Labor Department report showed Friday, Nov. 2.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 jobs, higher than the 190,000 predicted by analysts in a FactSet survey. The unemployment rate held at 3.7%, the lowest since the first year of Richard Nixon's presidency in 1969.
Average hourly earnings rose by 3.1% from a year earlier, according to the report.
Recent indications from the Federal Reserve and private economists have shown that with the U.S. unemployment rate at its lowest in almost a half-century, businesses were finding workers increasingly difficult to come by.
And that means they're having to increase pay rates for employees -- hitting corporations' bottom lines as they seek to expand in a growing economy.
Fed officials are monitoring wage increases for signs of whether they will trigger faster inflation. As employers spend more on workers, they often will try to raise the prices of goods and services to recoup their costs.