The U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday, a number that exceeded the expectations of most economists.
Revisions to previous data showed an additional 60,000 jobs were created in August and September, the department report said, while noting that there were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown during the first half of October.
The latest employment report also showed the jobless rate rose slightly to 7.3 percent in October, up from 7.2 percent in September.
Some 448,000 furloughed federal workers were on temporary layoff, and the jobs' report next month is expected to show these workers back at work in November.
About 11.3 million Americans were counted as unemployed in October, and four million of those have been out of work for at least six months.
U.S. retailers last month added 44,000 jobs, professional and business services added 44,000 jobs, restaurants and bars hired 29,000 workers and manufacturers added 12,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported.
But the federal government cut 12,000 jobs last month, a third of those at the U.S. Postal Service.
"The upward revisions to job growth in August and September, combined with solid third-quarter GDP growth reported yesterday, suggest that the economy was gaining traction in the months leading up to the government shutdown," said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. "There should be no debate that the shutdown and debt-limit brinksmanship inflicted unnecessary damage on the economy in October. The employment report shows differing accounts, with the more reliable payroll survey recording strong job growth and the much noisier household survey showing an increase in the unemployment rate and a large drop in employment. But the mission for Congress remains clear: to take steps that increase certainty, speed growth and boost job creation."