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U.S. Economy Adds 271,000 Jobs


  • photo © 2008 Egan Snow, via Flickr

Even top economists were surprised when the United States Labor Department released its latest figures this morning, indicating employers added 271,000 jobs to the nation's payrolls in October. Based on the new numbers, the U.S. unemployment rate was pegged at 5 percent—the lowest level since April 2008.

The Labor Department pointed to significant gains in the professional and business, health care, retail and construction sectors. Additionally, average hourly earnings in the private sector rose in October by 9 cents to $25.20, up about 2.5 percent from this time last year.

The bad news was in the oil industry, where the Labor Department reported low crude prices have curbed drilling activity, triggering layoffs. Additionally, mining and logging companies cut 5,000 jobs, according to this morning's report.

Idaho is expected to reveal its unemployment numbers in two weeks. In October, the Idaho Department of Labor reported the Gem State had held steady with its jobless rate of 4.2 percent. The city of Boise's unemployment rate for September was 2.6 percent.