Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 2,04,000 in October, bring down the unemployment rate to 7.3 per cent compared with 7.9 per cent a year ago, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported.
Employment increased in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing and health care, the monthly report said.
The creation of new jobs is being considered significant given that it comes despite a 16-day government shutdown for due to an impasse in the Congress.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed during the shutdown, which came as members of Congress battled over a budget for the new fiscal year that began on October 1.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this report has raised the prospect that the labour market may be strengthening enough for the Federal Reserve to start pulling back its easy-money policies soon.
"Average job creation over the past three months now exceeds a 200,000 pace, matching the strong gains recorded in early in the year. The improvement might allow Federal Reserve policy makers to consider reducing the pace of the USD 85 billion-a-month bond-buying program at its next meeting, set for December," the newspaper reported.
* Nonfarm payrolls increase 204,000 in October
* US Unemployment rate rises to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent
* Average workweek holds steady, hourly earnings up
* No discernible impact from government shutdown
US jobs market dodges blow from gov't shutdown
(Reuters) - US job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a government shutdown, suggesting the budget standoff had a more limited impact on the economy than initially feared.
US employers added 204,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however rose to 7.3 percent from September's nearly five-year low of 7.2 percent.
The department said there had been no "discernible" impact on payrolls from the 16-day federal government shutdown, adding that it had received an above average response rate from employers to its survey.
The report also showed 60,000 more jobs created in September and August than previously reported, suggesting that the economy had upward momentum heading into the shutdown last month.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 125,000 in October and the unemployment rate ticking up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.3 percent.
Last month's job gains pushed them above the 190,000 average for the past 12 months. But there was some bad news as more people dropped out the labor force, pushing the participation rate to 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978.
The department said the drop in the participation rate was not related to the government shutdown as furloughed government workers remained in the labor force.
The private sector accounted for all the job gains last month, with government payrolls shrinking 8,000.
Despite the better-than expected payrolls count, that is unlikely to change expectations of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter, given that consumer spending slackened and business inventories rose in the July-September period.