U.S. Economy Adds 171,000 Jobs in Oct., Unemployment Rate at 7.9%

U.S. Economy Adds 171,000 Jobs in Oct., Unemployment Rate Rises to 7.9%By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October and hiring was stronger over the previous two months than first thought. The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.

The Labor Department's last look at hiring before Tuesday's election sketched a picture of a job market that is gradually gaining momentum after nearly stalling in the spring.

Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month, up from 67,000 a month from April through June.

Still, President Barack Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt. The rate ticked up because more people without jobs started looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.

Investors were pleased by the news. The Dow Jones industrial average futures were flat before it came out at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and within minutes they were up 30 points.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 1.77 percent from 1.72 percent, a sign that investors were moving money out of bonds and into stocks.

Most of the details in the report were positive. The government revised the jobs figures to show that 84,000 more jobs were added than previously estimated.

The gains in October were widespread across most industries. And the percentage of Americans working or looking for work rose for the second straight month.

The economy has added jobs for 25 straight months. There are now 580,000 more jobs than when Obama took office.

But there were also signs of the economy's ongoing weakness. Average hourly pay dipped a penny to $23.58. And the number of unemployed increased 170,000 to 12.3 million.

The department said Hurricane Sandy had no noticeable impact on the report.

The economy has picked up a bit in recent weeks, mostly on the strength of consumers. Americans are more confident and buying more big-ticket items, like cars and appliances. Auto companies reported steady sales gains last month despite losing three days of business to the storm in heavily populated areas of the Northeast.

Yet businesses remain nervous about the economy's future course. Many are concerned that Congress will fail to reach a budget deal before January. If lawmakers can't strike an agreement, sharp tax increases and spending cuts will take effect next year and possibly trigger another recession.

American companies are also nervous about the economic outlook overseas. Europe's financial crisis has pushed much of that region into recession and cut into U.S. exports and corporate profits.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Asset Allocation

Learn the most important step in structuring an investment portfolio.

View Course »

Introduction to Value Investing

Are you the next Warren Buffett?

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

170 Comments

Filter by:
freethedems2012

God is punishing us. I can accept that. His will be done.

November 06 2012 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
freethedems2012

Look at the lines outside voting booths and you can predict who will win. The takers.

November 05 2012 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cpo1514

Create jobs??? Wonder if President Romney will appoint Barry as Ambassador to Libya and Joe bites as the Deputy... also would give the d=same security to Barry.... no issues with the press I am sure....

November 05 2012 at 10:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

How many part-time jobs?

How many ex-workers no longer counted?

Percentage of work-age adults at lowest percentage in 4 years (and its gone bad to worse).

Welcome to the Obama economy and the approaching New Obama Recession.

November 05 2012 at 4:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
oilmlh

http://danielamerman.com/articles/2012/WorkC.html

November 04 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
oilmlh

http://danielamerman.com/articles/2012/WorkC.html

BO is a farce.

November 04 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oilmlh

http://danielamerman.com/articles/2012/WorkC.html

BO is a farce.

November 04 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
dus48

all these cooked up numbers will come to reality on nov 7th.that is when we will be slowly told the truth little by little.we will get the full picture in jan.this country is in for the fiscall cliff sooner than later and they say we are doing fine.get off your high horses and face reality .they will try to model this great land after europe.look what a mess that is.but the gret american voices will not be shut down inspite of the mwdia.

November 04 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Glenn Kromminga

Jobs, unemployment, seniors & the middle class must be the White House & Congress #1 job over the next four years. US Citizens needs to begin lawsuits against elected officials that do not cooperate in this #1 priority.

November 04 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

They are lying to you.

November 04 2012 at 4:12 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply