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Ear to the Ground

171,000 Jobs Added in October but Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

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Posted on Nov 2, 2012
Flickr/edEx

The nation’s jobless rate ticked up in October, even as employers added 171,000 workers to their payrolls, according to the latest jobs report—the last one before Election Day. The government also revised August and September figures, adding 84,000 jobs over the two-month period.

The Washington Post:

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent, but the reason behind the uptick also points to an improved job market. Some 578,000 more Americans counted themselves as part of the labor force, and only 410,000 more people reported having a job. In one particularly welcome sign, the proportion of the population reporting that they had a job rose one-tenth of a percent to 58.8 percent. The Labor Department counts only those with jobs or looking for jobs as among the U.S. workforce.

The campaigns jumped on the numbers Friday, giving their spins on the final unemployment report before Tuesday’s election.

... The portrait the new numbers paint: Employers are adding jobs more briskly than they had over the summer, fast enough to bring down sky-high joblessness over time. That new round of hiring seems to be coaxing people back into the labor force, though not all of them are finding work, pushing the overall unemployment rate up a bit.

“The employment markets are showing a palpable increase in forward momentum,” said Brian Bethune, president of Alpha Economic Foresights.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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