WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a robust 261,000 jobs in October as the economy recovered from hurricanes that slammed the Southeast in September.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years, from 4.2 percent in September.
The burst of hiring mostly reflects a rebound from a trio of hurricanes that temporarily depressed job gains. But it also shows that for all their fury, the storms did not knock the economy off course. Over the past three months, hiring has averaged 162,000. That is similar to the pace of hiring before the hurricanes.
Employers added just 18,000 jobs in September, as thousands of businesses were forced to close. That figure was revised higher from a previous estimate that showed a loss of 33,000.