161,000 Jobs Added in October, Unemployment Down to 4.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October, down from September’s upwardly revised figure of 191,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate fell 0.1 point to 4.9%. The majority of gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Private-service providing industries added a net 142,000 jobs, led by gains in professional and business services, which added 43,000 jobs during the month and 542,000 over the year, and by health care, which added 31,000 jobs this month and 415,000 over the year.

Goods-producing employment was unchanged during the month, as modest gains in construction employment were offset by job losses in manufacturing and mining.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.8%, little changed from August. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was unchanged at 2.0 million and accounted for 25.2% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 487,000, down 178,000 from a year earlier.

Average hourly earnings rose 10 cents to $26.92. Hourly earnings have increased 2.8% over the past year.

Read the BLS release.