This morning's employment report from the Department of Labor showed non-farm payrolls of 171,000 were added in October, which was more than investors expected. However, the unemployment rate moved from 7.8% last month to 7.9%. The U.S. dollar index firmed on the news.
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. In October, employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade. In October, the average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls was 34.4 hours for the fourth consecutive month. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours.
The change in total non-farm payroll employment for August was revised from +142,000 to +192,000, and the change for September was revised from +114,000 to +148,000.