Like most economists, no one would mistake me for the most upbeat guy on the block. Words like "stagnation" fall more trippingly off my tongue than words like "look at that great jobs report!"
But October was a solid report, boasting 271,000 net new jobs, a tick down in unemployment to 5 percent, a nice bump in wage growth, and a decline in the number of part-timers who'd rather be full-timers.
Reverting to type, don't get carried away by one month. When we were having the conversation last month, the economy added only 137,000 jobs, leading lots of people to get out their "the end is near" placards. It is, of course, not credible that the actual job market - as opposed to the measured one - stunk last month but smelled great this month.
The thing to do is average across a number of months to smooth out some of the noise. Over the past three months, payrolls were up just about 190,000 jobs per month on average, a healthy clip that is putting downward pressure on the jobless rate and slowly, but - I think and hope - surely, upward pressure on wage growth.