US employers add 214K jobs, rate falls to 5.8 pct.
WASHINGTON - Falling unemployment still isn't doing much to raise worker pay.
The government says employers added 214,000 jobs last month, lowering the jobless rate to 5.8 percent. But the average hourly pay of workers rose only slightly, a glaring weak spot in an otherwise solid report.
In Tuesday's elections, voters identified the economy as their top concern -- suggesting that economic improvement hasn't yet been felt by many Americans. And the sluggish pace of pay growth may be a factor.
Average hourly pay rose 3 cents in October to $24.57. That's just 2 percent higher than the average wage of 12 months ago, and barely ahead of the 1.7 percent inflation rate.
Analyst Dan Greenhaus of the brokerage firm BTIG says the labor market "in many respects has already healed," but that "employee bargaining power remains virtually nonexistent."
Job gains in October were broad-based, although many lower-paying industries posted especially large increases. Retailers added 27,100 jobs. Restaurants, hotels and entertainment firms gained 52,000.
Analysts say the economic expansion remains strong enough to support the current pace of hiring. Over the past six months, the economy has grown at a 4.1 percent annual rate.
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