Heading into the holiday season, job market growth continues at a steady rate. 2016 is on track to finish as an altogether strong year for hiring, with the Department of Labor reporting 161,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy in October 2016.
The unemployment rate has remained consistently at or just below 5 percent for the year, closing October out at 4.9. In the past 12 months, the job market has gained roughly 5 million jobs.
Hiring historically hits a peak in the year's later months, November and December in particular. With the solid and stable -- if not unspectacular -- increases throughout 2016, the year should end on a positive note.
Last year, November and December comined for around 550,000 new hires. In 2014, that number was closer to 600,000. Even in 2013, a relatively lean year for fourth-quarter job gains, the economy added more than 330,000 new hires.
This year's October jobs numbers could play a part in the presidential election, as well as setting the tone for how 2016 hiring ends. Going back to 1980, measurable increases in the months before the election have often favored the incumbent party; 1980 is a rare exception, when September and October gains totaled almost 400,000.
2000 and 2008 are prime examples of negative jobs numbers just before the election coinciding with, if not directly influencing, a party change in the White House.
You don't need to be a losing presidential candidate to consider a career fallback. Or, if you're just looking to make a change amid the stability of the current market, check out the CareerCast database of job listing.