Employers stepped up hiring in October, a hopeful sign for the economic recovery and potentially an 11th hour boost for President Barack Obama's bid for re-election, even though the unemployment rate rose from near four-year lows.

Over the past 12 months, hourly earnings for all workers are up just 1.6 percent, the lowest on records dating to early 2007. A measure with a longer track record that covers only production and non-supervisory employees was up only 1.1 percent -- the lowest on records dating to 1964. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Tim Ahmann)