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The US economy added 531,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, both were better than expected.  The leisure and hospitality industries led the way in job creation.

 

U.S. unit labor costs surged in the third quarter, while productivity declined at its sharpest pace since 1981, adding to signs that high inflation could last for a while.  The Labor Department said that unit labor costs, the price of labor per single unit of output, increased at an 8.3% annualized rate last quarter. Outside the coronavirus distortions in 2020, the jump in labor costs last quarter was the largest since the first quarter of 2014.  Labor costs advanced at a 4.8% rate compared to a year ago.  The report followed on the heels of news last month that wage growth in the third quarter was the largest on record. 

 

The U.S. trade deficit hit an all-time high of $81 billion in September as American exports fell sharply while imports, even with supply chain problems at American ports, continue to climb.  The September deficit topped the previous record of $73.2 billion set in June. The deficit is the gap between what the United States exports to the rest of the world and the imports we purchase from foreign nations.

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