Nation's Jobless Rate Ticks Down to 5.8 Percent, But Wages Remain Stagnant


October was the ninth straight month that the U.S. economy has added at least 200,000 jobs, the best record since the 1980s. The U.S. Labor Department announced this morning that 214,000 new names were added to the nation's payrolls in October, inching down the jobless rate to 5.8 percent, the lowest level in six years.

Analysts said the U.S. is on pace for its best labor market year since 1999. Additionally, the Labor Department reported that 31,000 more jobs than originally estimated had been added in August and September.

Some of the bright spots include the retail industry, which added 27,100 jobs; manufacturing, which added 15,000; transportation and shipping, which gained 13,300; and professional and business services, including accountants and engineers, which added 37,000 jobs.

But inside that silver lining is some troubling news: Workers' average hourly pay rose only slightly in October. Average hourly pay rose a mere three cents to $24.57, only 2 percent higher than the average wage 12 months earlier and barely ahead of the 1.7 percent inflation rate.