The economy added 171,000 new jobs in October—the 32nd straight month of positive job growth—according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nation’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9%, up slightly from September’s 7.8%. The labor force grew by more than half a million workers in October, which is a positive sign, as more workers are seeking and finding jobs. The number of discouraged and involuntary part-time workers has fallen since last year.
The newly created jobs exceeded most economists’ predictions of 100,000 to 125,000 new jobs for the month. Also, September payrolls were revised to a gain of 148,000 from an initially reported 114,000, and August to 192,000 from 142,000.