US economy adds 171,000 jobs

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The US economy added 171,000 jobs during October, although the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.9 per cent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment rose in the professional and business services, health care, and retail trade sectors during October.

The US agency also added that Hurricane Sandy had had “no discernible effect of employment and unemployment data for October”, with household survey data collected before the storm.

The data revealed that the number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks or more – during October was little changed at 5 million, accounting for 40.6 per cent of the unemployed.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month so far in 2012, “about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011”.

The professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, 31,000 were added to healthcare and 36,000 in the retail sector. The mining sector lost 9,000 jobs in October, with much of the decline occurring in support activities.

Job creation was revised upward in August from 142,000 to 192,000 and erin 114,000 to 148,000 in September.