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New labor report: 250,000 U.S. jobs added in October

U.S. employers created 250,000 new jobs in October, continuing a record-breaking growth that's been going steady for 97 consecutive months, the Labor Department announced on Friday, Nov. 2. 

The department estimated that the economy has grown at a 3.5 percent annual rate, and in the last year, an average of 210,000 jobs have been added each month. 

Wages have increased 0.2 percent, and unemployment hovers at 3.7 percent, according to a report by the New York Times

“It’s really the strongest part of the broader economy at the moment,” Michelle Girard, chief United States economist at NatWest Markets, told the paper. 

Women represent the largest number of new employees, with 1.4 million joining the workforce, compared with 845,000 men. African-American and Hispanic employees, people without college degrees, and people with disabilities have also joined the labor force in increasing numbers in recent months. Numbers of workers coming from abroad on temporary working visas, however, have continued to decline for the second year in a row.

It's important to note that October's job numbers are a merely a snapshot and that several factors could impact continued growth in the future. Though 32,000 manufacturing jobs were added last month, the manufacturing index at the Institute for Supply Management is at a six-month low. The slump is potentially due to concerns about tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, parts shortages, and a decrease in demand for American-made products globally.

Jobs also appear to be on the minds of voters. While the economy typically does not play a large role in how voters cast their ballots in midterm elections, this year, it's at the forefront for approximately 75 percent of registered voters, according to the Pew Research Center. Among registered Republicans, 85 percent have said that the economy is "very important" in determining their vote. 

October's job numbers will be revised twice more as more data becomes available.