Hiring in the U.S. increased more than forecast in October as employers looked past slowing global growth and political gridlock at home.
In the last jobs report before next weekâ€™s election, a net 171,000 workers were added to payrolls after a 148,000 gain in September that was more than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The increase exceeded the most optimistic forecast in the Bloomberg survey in which the median called for an advance of 125,000. Unemployment rose to 7.9 percent as more people entered the labor force.
Stock-index futures rose as faster job growth helped explain gains in consumer sentiment, laying the groundwork for a pickup in purchases thatâ€™s helping sustain the expansion in the wake of a weakening global economy. Americans go to the polls on Nov. 6 to decide whether to give President Barack Obama another four years or change course with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
â€œThe labor market is taking baby steps forward,â€ Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco, said before the report. â€œThe fact that consumers are spending again has been an important support. Consumers pull a lot of weight, so more spending can lead to job creation.â€
The contract on the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.5 percent to 1,430 at 8:34 a.m. in New York. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note increased to 1.76 percent from 1.73 percent late yesterday.
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