WASHINGTON – The U.S. gained 161,000 jobs in October and hiring was stronger in the prior two months than previously reported, reflecting steady gains in employment that are likely to spur the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 175,000 increase in new nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% from 5%, the government said Friday. Average hourly wages rose 0.4% to $25.92. Hourly pay increased 2.8% from October 2015 to October 2016, the most rapid 12-month gain since mid-2009. Hours worked were flat at 34.4 hours. Total employment gains for September and August, meanwhile, were 44,000 higher than previously reported. The government said 191,000 new jobs were created in September instead of 156,000. August's gain was raised to 176,000 from 167,000.
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