WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy generated a net gain in jobs for the first time in five months in October, as businesses stepped up their painfully slow pace of hiring.
But the unemployment rate, measured by a separate survey of households, remained stuck at 9.6 percent for the third straight month.
The Labor Department said Friday its survey of employers showed a net gain of 151,000 jobs last month, the first increase since May. Private employers hired 159,000 workers, the best since April.
Economists welcomed the report, which showed much stronger job gains than Wall Street analysts had expected.