October is the ninth month in a row to see a net gain of at least 200,000 jobs in the U.S. — the longest period of sustained growth at that pace since 1995.
This month 214,000 jobs were added, according to the Department of Labor. Unemployment dropped to 5.8 percent, the lowest level since 2008. Most positions were added in the retail, health care and food industries.
Overall, it has been a good year for the U.S. workforce. More than 2.3 million jobs have been added this year, according to the Department of Labor, and the number of long-term unemployed people fell by more than a million.
But wages have stagnated, with average earnings rising by only 2 percent this year.
It appears Americans are still not feeling confident. Exit polls on Tuesday found that 45 percent of respondents said the economy topped their list of concerns. That sentiment from Main Street led to Republicans’ gaining the majority in the Senate next term and control of the chamber.
The challenge now for both parties lies in convincing the American people that they should be happy — or at least happier.
Are voters’ views shaped my media and politicians’ negative portrayals of the economy?
What kind of jobs and wage growth would earn the confidence of the public?
How will the upcoming Republican majority in the Senate address voters’ concerns about the economy?
We consulted a panel of experts for the Inside Story.