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Job growth slowed last month, partly over the impact of the UAW strikes

Workers picket outside a Ford plant in Chicago on Oct. 10, 2023. The U.S. created 150,000 jobs in October, marking a slowdown from the previous month, partly as a result of the UAW strikes.
Scott Olson
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Workers picket outside a Ford plant in Chicago on Oct. 10, 2023. The U.S. created 150,000 jobs in October, marking a slowdown from the previous month, partly as a result of the UAW strikes.

U.S. employers slowed their hiring in October after a blockbuster month of job growth the previous month. The drop partly reflects the United Auto Workers strikes.

The U.S. added 150,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, somewhat lower than the 180,000 jobs that economists had forecast. The unemployment rate inched up to 3.9%.

October's job gains were about half the 297,000 jobs added in September, according to the government's revised estimates.

The slowdown reflects in part the impact of the UAW's unprecedented strike against all Big Three automakers, though the union has recently clinched deals with each of them. Factory employment in October was down by 35,000 jobs.

Overall, the data continues to show a decent pace of growth despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate hikes.

Wage growth eased slightly, which will help to reassure the Fed that overall inflation is moderating.

Average wages in October were up 4.1% from a year ago, which likely outpaced the cost of living by a small margin.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.