Hiring surge at restaurants and bars helps push down US unemployment rate

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Last month's uptick in hiring, which helped further lower the U.S. unemployment rate, spanned an array of industries.

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Driving the gains were leisure and hospitality employers, which added 52,000 jobs. Restaurants and bars accounted for most of the surge, which suggests that "consumers are gradually loosening the purse strings," said Gregory Daco, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.

Overall, employers added a solid 214,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday. The report also showed that employers added a combined 31,000 more jobs in August and September than the government had previously estimated.

The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 5.8 percent, the lowest level since July 2008.

Every major job category has recorded cumulative job gains over the past 12 months, led by professional services, education and health, and leisure and hospitality.

Industry (change from previous month) October 2014 September 2014 Past 12 months
Construction 12,000 19,000 231,000
Manufacturing 15,000 9,000 170,000
Retail 27,100 34,000 249,100
Transportation, warehousing 13,300 5,200 154,400
Information (Telecom, publishing) -4,000 13,000 10,000
Financial services 3,000 12,000 85,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 37,000 55,000 657,000
Education and health 41,000 43,000 428,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 52,000 48,000 380,000
Government 5,000 12,000 60,000
Source: Labor Department