The U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5 percent from September’s 5.1 percent, according to Labor Department statistics released Friday. A 5 percent rate has traditionally meant the United States is close to “full employment,” but a perceived slack in the labor market following the 2008 financial crisis and recession has led to differing calculations among economists. Either way, the drop in unemployment is expected to signal an interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve next month in order to stave off inflation.
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