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 moved up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.
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.
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.
But 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.