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Jobs Growth Heats Up

The economy adds 166,000 workers in October, data show, much stronger than expected.

Updated from 8:36 a.m. EDT

Job growth was much stronger than expected last month, as the economy added 166,000 workers in October, according to the Labor Department.

On average, analysts were expecting a number more like 80,000. The unemployment rate was in line with estimates, remaining at 4.7%. The government released the report Friday before the market opened.

The data for the two prior months were revised, but not substantially. For September, payrolls were adjusted downward by 14,000, and for August, 4,000 jobs were tacked on.

Stock futures rose on the news and were indicating a higher open for the U.S.

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Employment in professional and business services increased by 65,000 inOctober and has risen by 368,000 over the year. Health care added 34,000 jobs last month.

As for the manufacturing sector, 21,000 positions were lost, and since June of last year, 275,000 jobs have been shed. Construction employment was little changed for the month.

Retail trade jobs edged down in October. Among the component industries, employment in building materials and garden supply stores continued to trend lower, with a loss of 7,000 for the month.

The job situation in financial activities was essentially unchanged, although the number of employees in credit intermediation, which includes mortgage lending and related activities, was down.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, and over the year, they have grown 3.8%.

The Southern California wildfires and resulting evacuations had no discernable impact on the October payroll and household survey estimates, the government said.