US non-farm payrolls growth undershot lofty expectations in October with an increase of 214k reported. The reading was below the upwardly-revised 256k pace of September and expectations for a gain of 235k and was the second-lowest increase of the past 6 months. Despite the miss on payrolls growth and an uptick in participation to 62.8%, the national unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 5.9%, a level last seen in July 2008.
Keeping with the established theme, the rest of the release was ok without being outstanding with hourly wages ticking up 0.1%, below expectations for a gain of 0.2%, while the underemployment rate slid to 11.5% from 11.8%, a level last seen in September 2008.
The employment-to-population ratio rose by 0.2% to 59.2%, some 1.0% above the level of a year earlier, while the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons fell by 76k to 7.027m.
Elsewhere the average work week ticked up to 34.6 hours, the highest level seen since May 2008 and a good sign for hiring prospects ahead, while the separate household survey logged an increase in household employment of 683k, the largest gain seen this year.