The unemployment rate in the United States
edged up to 7.9 per cent in October, the Labour Department announced
Friday, even though payrolls grew by 171,000 jobs.
Unemployment had dipped in September to 7.8 per cent.
The jobless report is the last major economic statistic to be released before Tuesday's presidential election.
Payroll growth somewhat exceeded expectations. The Bloomberg news agency's survey of 91 economists this week produced a median forecast of 125,000 for payroll growth.
The Labour Department's Bureau of Labour Statistics said that Hurricane Sandy, which began affecting the Atlantic seaboard on Sunday, had "no discernible effect" on the October data. The storm affected at least a dozen states and caused major damage in New Jersey and New York.
The bureau's household survey, which is used to produce the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, was completed before the storm arrived. Participation rates in the parallel survey of employers, from which the payroll figure is derived, were normal from storm-hit regions.
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