Hiring Picks Up Strongly in October

The U.S. economy added 240,000 jobs in October, a surprising gain for a month skewed by the 16-day government shutdown. The unemployment rate ticked up from 7.2 to 7.3 percent, likely because federal workers furloughed by the shutdown were counted as unemployed. In another bright spot in the report, job numbers from September and August were revised upward by 60,000, meaning more jobs were added than originally calculated. The October gain surprised forecasters because the impact of the shutdown had made the month difficult to predict. The Labor Department's report, usually released on the first day of the month, was delayed a week because of the shutdown.