Michael Hicks

Despite a slowdown in manufacturing, the latest jobs report is evidence the aggregate economy continues to expand, according to Ball State University economist Michael Hicks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October. That level far exceeds the prereport estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The 12-month average is 167,000 jobs while the nation’s unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.6% but continues to be hovering at the lowest in a half-century.

“This jobs report makes clear that jobs are still plentiful and tight labor market nationally continue to sustain modest wage growth,” said Hicks.

Hicks warns recent economic data on goods-producing sectors reinforces the likelihood of a recession-like slowdown in manufacturing. Analysts say the 40-day General Motors (GM) strike by 50,000 union workers did not have an impact on the monthly data.