NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Labor Department released the October jobs numbers on Friday morning, which showed the economy grew by 161,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%. Economists had forecast for a growth of 175,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings increased by 2.8% in October.
Pantheon Macroeconomics founder Ian Shepherdson appeared on this morning's "Bloomberg Markets: Americas" to discuss the jobs figures, rate increases and the upcoming U.S. election, which is only a few days away.
"There's a couple of weak bits [in the jobs report], you know manufacturing jobs slipped a little bit and retail was soft as well," Shepherdson said. "But overall we had a big up revision to the previous numbers of 44,000. That was a very welcome surprise and I think, I would call it good enough."
The Federal Reserve looks at jobs numbers as indications of the health of the economy and could use the figures to justify either increasing or not touching interest rates. The Fed will next meet in December and it has been widely speculated by market watchers that the central bank will hike rates at that meeting. However, the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election could have more of an impact than economic data.
BloombergTV's Mark Barton questioned Shepherdson on what a Donald Trump victory will mean for the Fed and if that will "derail" the Fed's plan to hike rates in December.
"It does," he responded. "I think it's extremely unlikely at this point. Clinton suffered a bit over the last few days in the polls after the email investigation story broke last weekend. But, you know, looking over the very latest numbers she seems to be bouncing back a little bit and certainly in the swing state polls she seems to be pretty solidly ahead."