ARCHITECT and the Hanley Wood Data Studio report that the U.S. economy added 161,000 nonfarm payroll positions in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The seasonally-adjusted number is a slight drop from September's addition of 191,000 jobs, and falls short of the Wall Street Journal's prediction of 173,000. The national unemployment rate remained roughly stable at 4.9%, and labor-force participation was little changed at 62.8%. Average hourly wages for private, nonfarm workers continued to a rise to $25.92 in October, a 10-cent gain month-over-month, compared to the eight-cent increase in September.

After gaining 23,000 jobs in the previous month, the construction industry slowed a bit in October but still managed to add 11,000 payroll positions. The manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, losing 9,000 jobs in October. Meanwhile, the architectural and engineering services sector gained 3,000 positions in October, its sixth consecutive month of growth.

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