Payrolls up, unemployment holds steady
Payrolls increased more than expected in October, but not enough to knock the unemployment rate down from 9.6 percent, where it has been perched for the last three months.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said 151,000 jobs were added last month, the first increase since May. Private-sector employment increased by 159,000, while 8,000 government jobs were cut.
Revised numbers for August and September showed that 110,000 fewer jobs were lost than previously reported.
Economists had expected employers to add 60,000 workers last month, with private employment rising 75,000, Reuters said.
“So it’s still within the realm of a moderate recovery. It’s both better than people had been looking for and it’s another nail in the coffin of a double dip,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.
Analysts say the economy needs to create at least 125,000 jobs a month to start ratcheting the high unemployment rate down, so four months of solid private hiring above 100,000 monthly was encouraging.
Economists said increased activity in manufacturing and service industries are signs of future gains in employment.