The U.S. economy added 204,000 non-farm payroll jobs in October, according to the Department of Labor in a month that saw over four hundred thousand Federal government employees being furloughed for 16 days.
The consensus estimate for non-farm payroll jobs was 120,000 jobs in October.
Economists were concerned that companies delayed their hiring plans in October after worrying about how a federal government shutdown would impact spending in the U.S. economy.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 percent.
The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in October at 34.4 hours
The Department of Labor reported that Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were still considered employed in the payroll survey because they worked or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.
Job growth has averaged 190,000 per month over the past 12 months.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from 193,000 to 238,000.
In September the revision went from 148,000 to 163,000.
On Thursday the U.S. Commerce Department announced that the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the third quarter ending Sept. 30th, higher than the 2.5 percent growth rate in the second quarter.
On Thursday ECB President Mario Draghi decided to cut interest rates to .25 percent from .50 percent in November instead of waiting until December despite facing German resistance in the Deutsche Bundesbank.
Draghi is attempting to kickstart the economic engines in the European Union after October showed annual inflation in the euro area dropped to 0.7 percent, the lowest level since the global crisis.
Draghi also lowered a separate rate for overnight loans by the same level to 0.75 percent while making unlimited loans available to banks until 2015.
Standard and Poor downgraded France’s credit rating from AA+ to AA, citing risks over France’s economy and government finances.
“We believe the French government’s reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services, and labor markets, will not substantially raise France’s medium term growth prospects,” S&P said on Thursday.