The economy seemed to get back on track in October, according to the monthly job figures released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We added 271,000 jobs for the month, making it the strongest month for new employment all year. The headline unemployment rate dropped from 5.1 percent to 5.0 percent.
October's number is nearly double the one from September, which was revised upward to 142,000 jobs in today's report. The previous high for the year before October had been the 266,000 jobs we added in February.
The industries contributing the most to the month's job growth were professional and business services, which added 78,000 jobs; health care, which added 45,000; and retail, which added 44,000. In another positive sign, hourly worker earnings rose by 9 cents in October.