The economy added 638,000 nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point to 6.9%. The government compiled the data for the report in the middle of October.
Stock futures temporarily erased some losses and bond yields rose as the report showed about 100,000 more jobs than economists expected and a much better unemployment rate. The report did include the loss of 268,000 government jobs, with 147,000 of those Census workers and many others in education.
“The rebound continues to have strong momentum, more than people were thinking,” said John Briggs, head of strategy at NatWest Markets. “Private payrolls blowout, the participation rate went up 0.3… People are coming back into the economy, and [the unemployment rate] still went down a full percentage point.” Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 7.7%.