President Donald Trump is riding high on the last jobs report before a key midterm election on November 6.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday reported that the U.S. economy added an estimate-beating 250,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. Wages grew 3.1% year-over-year, the fastest pace of annual gains since April 2009.
“Wow! The U.S. added 250,000 Jobs in October – and this was despite the hurricanes. Unemployment at 3.7%. Wages UP! These are incredible numbers. Keep it going, Vote Republican!” Trump tweeted shortly after the BLS released its numbers.
The BLS said that Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida panhandle in early October, had “no discernible effect” on the October numbers.
The numbers are helpful for Trump’s last-minute push to maintain Republican control of Congress. With a number of Senate races — such as in Arizona and Texas — getting tighter, Trump hopes to use the message of a strong economy to rally Americans to vote for their GOP candidates.
Trump is scheduled to head to West Virginia on Friday, where he will stump for Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his race against incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.
Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro told Yahoo Finance that the report is a “validation of President Trump’s really broad-based strategy on the economy,” adding that the numbers are a result of the administration’s efforts on deregulation, energy policy and tax cuts.
Navarro, who has driven the administration’s protectionist policy on trade, said he was particularly encouraged by the BLS statistics on manufacturing, where employment increased by 32,000.
Wages could be a focal point of the Federal Reserve as it heads toward its December rate meeting, where some expect the central bank to raise the benchmark interest rate by another 25 basis points. The Fed has said it is comfortable with where it sees unemployment but is continuing to monitor inflation within range of its 2% target.
Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab, acknowledged that the report shows positive trends on wage growth, but said she does not think the 3.1% figure will be repeated next month.
“On a year-over-year basis, we have distortion because last year the numbers dropped pretty significantly also due to storms and bad weather, so i think it’s a little bit of an exaggeration of where we are,” Jones said on Yahoo Finance’s Market Movers on Friday.
Brian Cheung is a reporter covering the banking industry and the intersection of finance and policy for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter @bcheungz.