U.S. employment rose by 214,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.8 percent, even as the pace of hiring slowed a bit from the average of the past nine months, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected net job growth of 233,000.
The gain is under the average 222,000 jobs added each month so far this year. In September, the economy added a net 256,000 jobs, far more than economists had expected and an upward revision from the 248,000 initially reported. Unemployment fell to 5.9 percent in September.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, remained little changed in October. The number of Americans looking for work or working is the lowest its been since the 1970s. Those employed part-time for economic reasons also remained little changed in October, at 7 million.
August's jobs growth was also upwardly revised to 203,000 from 180,000. Hiring above 200,000 was strong enough to maintain the economy's growth of 3.5 percent in the third quarter, economists say.
"Any gain above the 200,000 mark should be considered a very strong showing," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a statement Friday. "It also helped that October's gain was widespread, with nearly every industrial sector contributing to the job gains."