US jobs market cools in October

The US labor department says the economy added 150,000 jobs in October. The figure was lower than what most analysts had been expecting but is on a par with pre-pandemic levels.

The department released the latest figures in its monthly employment report on Friday.

It says hiring was most robust in the healthcare sector, but walkouts by striking workers in the auto industry dragged down gains in manufacturing.

The unemployment rate for October ticked up from 3.8 to 3.9 percent. The rate has stayed below 4 percent for nearly two years, which is a stretch not seen in a half-century.

President Joe Biden released a statement saying the unemployment figures prove that his economic policies are benefitting Americans. He said workers are "defying projections" that it would take a sharp increase in unemployment to bring inflation down.

Policymakers at US Federal Reserve are hoping they have raised borrowing costs high enough so that employers scale back how much they pay their workers.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said after a policy meeting on Wednesday that wage growth has shown "signs of easing." Some analysts say the jobs report could convince policymakers to stop raising interest rates.