Jobs report beats expectations
By: MJ Lee
November 8, 2013 08:41 AM EST
The economy added 204,000 jobs in October while the unemployment rate climbed slightly to 7.3 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The number of jobs added far exceeded analysts expectations of 120,000, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Economists have cautioned against reading too much into the report because its results may have been skewed by last month’s government shutdown, but the amount of jobs added is bright spot for the still struggling economy.
The uptick in the jobless rate was likely the result of hundreds of thousands of federal workers being briefly furloughed. Even though Congress eventually mandated that those employees receive back pay, the methodology used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted workers who did not work from Oct. 6 to 12 as having been unemployed.
Analysts believe that the rise in the unemployment rate in October will only be temporary.
“Now that the three-week shutdown is over and federal employees are back at work, any fall in the household measure of employment and any rise in the unemployment rate will be reversed in November,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
The government shutdown was not expected to have a big impact on the number of jobs added because the BLS’s establishment survey, unlike the household survey, considered furloughed workers who eventually received pay as having been employed.
The October jobs report was originally scheduled to be released last week, but was delayed because of the government shutdown.