Labor Dept. says U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October, exceeding analyst expectations

The U.S. economy continues to hum along, adding some 128,000 new jobs in October, according to the Labor Department on Friday.

Most analysts had forecast job growth of about 75,000 for last month after the economy added 136,000 new positions in September.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained near historic lows at 3.6 percent, according to the Labor Department’s report.

On Wednesday, ADP-Moody’s Analytics projected that the economy would add 125,000 new jobs, so the actual figure was slightly higher.

The Labor Department is expected to release its report on manufacturing for October later Friday morning. Those figures are expected to show a third straight month of losses.

It’s unclear how much Friday’s figures were influenced by the 41-day strike involving the United Auto Workers union and General Motors. Nearly 50,000 union workers were away from their jobs for more than a month before a new contract was accepted two weeks ago.

Analysts said that the strike likely cost GM roughly $4 billion.

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