Payrolls grew by 171,000 in October, surpassing economists’ projections by a significant margin, while the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent as more people entered the labor force.
Private employers added 184,000 jobs in October, the most since February, as retail hires were the highest for any one month since April 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The civilian labor force increased by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, causing the unemployment rate to rise. The labor force includes all those who are employed or who are actively seeking work.
An increase in the labor force generally indicates an increase in morale among the unemployed, economists say.
The number of people employed part time for economic reasons fell by 269,000 to 8.3 million, which partially offsets an increase of 582,000 such workers in September, according to the BLS.
The median estimate of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal called for nonfarm payrolls to expand by 125,000 and for the unemployment rate to increase to 7.9 percent.
Average hourly earnings climbed by 1.6 percent in October compared to a year ago.