By Karen Stokes
The October jobs report showed job growth was stronger than expected.
Nonfarm payrolls grew by 261,000 for the month, the Labor Department reported Friday. Those payroll numbers were better than the Dow Jones estimate for 205,000 more jobs, but worse than the 3.5% estimate for the unemployment rate.
“Unemployment did tick up but it remains extremely low by historical standards at 3.7% nationally and 3.3% in Wisconsin,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, deputy director of the National Economic Council. “Job growth remains very strong with 216,000 jobs added nationally last month.”
“We found the most recent jobs reports very encouraging,” she said. “What we’re looking at is whether the economy can make a transition from a historic economic recovery to a more steady stable growth, that would be conducive to a lower inflation.”
Fighting inflation continues to be the President’s top priority, including on food prices which have gone up as a result of global problems. We are seeing signs of progress ahead of the holiday season. Grocery prices rose by 0.4% in October, a significant deceleration from the increases this summer, and the smallest increase since December of last year, according to the White House.
This week the Farm Bureau released their analysis of food prices for a Thanksgiving meal, but as they themselves concede, their topline prices are from October, and not the prices shoppers are seeing now.
Instead of continuing to climb, however, the retail price of turkeys has fallen dramatically. The average price for a 16- to 24-pound whole frozen turkey is just 95 cents a pound for the period ending Nov. 16, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
“The big driver of recent increases of food prices was Putin’s war in Ukraine which disrupted global food markets just like it disrupted global energy markets but there’s been a significant deceleration in grocery price increases and reason to think that should continue and improve in the coming months,” said Aron-Dine.
“People are thinking about their Thanksgiving travel plans,” Aron-Dine said. “Gas prices nationally on average are down more than $1.20 compared to their peak which is also hopeful to families as they make plans for the holiday.”