Pre-Election Unemployment Rate Improving

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This post was originally published on Newser.

The last jobs report before the election hit Friday, and it was a good one. The economy added 171,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department reported, handily beating analysts’ estimates.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%, but according to Reuters that was because more people were entering the workforce. Not only that, September and August’s numbers were revised upward, with an additional 84,000 jobs created across those two months.

“Those Chicago… ah, the heck with it. Another good report, go figure,” the Wall Street Journal‘s liveblog quips. Private sector hiring accounted for all the growth—it added 184,000 jobs, while the government shed 13,000. Average earnings slid by 1 cent to $23.58 an hour, while the average workweek held steady at 34.4 hours, where it’s been for four months. The AP points out that the economy has now added an average of 173,000 jobs a month since July.