U.S. Economy Adds 261,000 Jobs in October
November 05, 2017
House votes to repeal ObamaCare Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB); U.S. Added 261,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Rate at 4.1%; U.S. trade deficit widens despite increase in exports.
- House votes to repeal ObamaCare Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The House on Thursday voted 307-111 to abolish a controversial Medicare cost-cutting board, the Independent Advisory Board (IPAB). The board was tasked with making Medicare cuts if spending rose above a certain threshold, but has been criticized as outsourcing the work of Congress. The bill now moves to the Senate, yet it is not likely the upper chamber will act on it before the end of the year. Even then, Republicans may not get the 60 votes needed to pass it as a stand-alone bill. The bill has bipartisan co-sponsors. However, Democrats said during the bill’s committee markup that Republicans were focusing on other priorities, such as not seeking to offset the repeal, which is estimated to cost $17 billion but are requiring offsets to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. Added 261,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Rate at 4.1%. According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs last month. Wall Street economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an increase of 325,000 as the economy recovered from September’s hurricanes. In September, the economy gained 18,000 jobs, according to a revised estimate released Friday, from an initial Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that employers cut 33,000 jobs in September. The Bureau also revised up its estimate of August jobs growth by 39,000 jobs. The unemployment rate decreased from 4.2 percent in September to 4.1 percent in October, the lowest since December 2000. Average wages fell by 1 cent an hour and are up 2.4 percent over the past year. [NYTimes]
- U.S. trade deficit widens despite increase in exports. The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly more than expected in September as rising exports of goods and services were offset by a a greater increase in imports. According to the Commerce Department on Friday, the trade gap increased 1.7 percent to $43.5 billion, while August’s trade deficit was revised up to $42.8 billion from the previously reported $42.4 billion. Trade added 0.41 percentage points to the economy’s 3.0 percent annualized growth rate in the third quarter. This was the third straight quarterly contribution to the gross domestic product. In September, exports of goods and services rose 1.1 percent to $196.8 billion, the highest level since December 2014. [Reuters]