America Sees Huge Spike In Number Of New Jobs
The United States economy has added 171,000 net new jobs in October - a figure much higher than expected by analysts.
Simultaneously, the unemployment rate inched up to 7.9% from 7.8% in September due to the increased size of the work force.
The new hiring numbers were also revised for August and September, as higher than previously thought by 84,000 jobs.
The figures were released as part of the US Labour Department's last look at hiring before Tuesday's presidential election.
It sketched a picture of a job market that is gradually gaining momentum after nearly stalling in the spring.
Most analysts had expected the rise in the unemployment rate, but the job growth far outpaced the 125,000 forecast.
Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month, up from 67,000 a month from April through to June.
The US economy has added jobs for 25 straight months, and there are now 580,000 more than when President Barack Obama took office.
However, Mr Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt.
The rate ticked up because more people without jobs started looking for work and the government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.
According to analysts from IHS Global Insight, damage of between $30bn (£18bn) to $50bn (£30bn) in economic losses from Superstorm Sandy could drop nominal GDP by 0.2% to 0.3%.
The Wall Street Journal described it as "naive" a view held by some that a rebuilding programme would boost the nation's GDP.
After the jobs announcement, Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney called the small unemployment uptick a "sad reminder" that economy is at a "virtual standstill".
Throughout the campaign, Mr Romney has argued that the recovery should have been stronger by now.
He says voters will decide on Tuesday between what he calls stagnation and prosperity.
"We're not where we all want to end up, but we are making serious important progress moving forward," Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on CBS This Morning before the jobs report was released.
Polls show the two candidates virtually tied in what may be the closest presidential race in modern history.
Investors were pleased by the news.
Dow Jones industrial average futures were flat before the report came out at 8.30am local time, and within 30 minutes they had risen 54 points.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note climbed to 1.77% from 1.72%, a sign that investors were moving money out of bonds and into stocks.
The October jobs report was compiled before Sandy struck the East Coast earlier this week and devastated many businesses.