U.S. unemployment climbs less than expected after government shutdown

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In the first hour of Friday trading, Wall Street seemed pleased with a jobs report that was not as bad as analysts had expected.

By 11 a.m., the Dow was up more than 85 points, or .55 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported early this morning that October’s national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, up from 7.2 percent in September.

Analysts had expected the 16-day government shutdown, which resulted in the furlough of some 800,000 federal workers, to have a sharper effect on the data. Indeed, the number of temporary layoffs rose by 448,000 people. But the total number of jobs added to the economy increased by 204,000 in October, double the consensus.

Other sectors showed slight improvement, with the manufacturing sector adding 19,000 jobs and retail adding 44,000. Employment in the food service sector rose by 29,000 jobs and health care added 15,000 jobs, the BLS found.

Kim Lyons: klyons@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1241. Twitter: @SocialKimly First Published November 8, 2013 8:44 AM

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