Depending on the strength of the jobs market and economy, our nation's central bank makes decisions that affect the interest rate at your bank, mortgage rates and how the stock market may move your 401(k).
Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, like her predecessor Ben Bernanke, is particularly focused on the labor market and what it indicates about the rest of the American economy.
There were 214,000 jobs added in October, slightly less than expected, while the unemployment rate edged down to 5.8 percent, the Labor Department said in its monthly jobs report released today. There were other good signs in the report: job growth in the past two months was revised to show 31,000 more jobs were added than previously reported.
Here's how today's numbers could affect your wallet in the coming weeks and months:
1. You may get more interest on savings soon
The Federal Reserve sets the federal funds rate, simply described as the rate at which banks lend to each other, which sets the tone for the rates they offer consumers, including for money in savings accounts.
The Federal Reserve is set to hike the federal funds rate, now at a historically low 0.09 percent, next summer, said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist of The PNC Financial Services Group.
"Nothing in this report would cause the Fed to speed it up nor slow it down," he said.
The interest rates that consumers are offered at banks these days are so low these days, anything higher might be a welcome move.
Lindsey Piegza, chief economist and managing director of Sterne Agee, said the Federal Reserve could wait for economic conditions to improve, including decreasing the number of discouraged workers. She believes the Fed could maintain its "accommodative" monetary policy for longer than expected; that is, its program that places downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, which began around 2008 to help an economy in deep recession.
2. Mortgage rates may rise
Today's jobs report will likely not have a big impact on the 30-year fixed mortgage, Hoffman said. Mortgage rates have been at historic lows in recent years at around 4 percent. They have been creeping up slightly, as rates moved higher for the second week in a row, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.
If the job market strengthens, the Federal Reserve may raise rates and that would mean higher rates on home mortgages.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.02 percent for the week ending Nov. 6, up from last week when it was 3.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.16 percent. Meanwhile the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.21 percent this week, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. Last year, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.27 percent.
3. A happier holiday
Though wages did not move dramatically higher in today’s report, they have been slowly moving higher. Meanwhile inflation is low, as in prices have not been going up and gas prices have seen big declines in recent weeks.
Higher consumer confidence, stock and house prices and a cheaper gas prices mean a bit more money in American pockets this holiday season.
Hoffman forecasts that holiday sales will rise by a solid 4 to 4.5 percent this season (November and December) from a year ago with a "healthy" 2.5 to 3 percent rise in real consumer spending.
ABC News' Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.