The U.S. created 214,000 jobs in October, nudging the unemployment rate down a notch to 5.8%, as many companies added workers to gear up for the holiday season. The economy has now added 200,000 workers or more for nine straight months, a feat last accomplished in 1994. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a seasonally adjusted gain of 243,000 nonfarm jobs. So far in 2014 the U.S. has gained an average of 229,000 jobs a month, the fastest pace since 1999. Yet despite the acceleration in hiring, average hourly wages were little changed. Hourly pay rose 0.1% in October to $24.57, putting the 12-month increase at 2%, the Labor Department said Friday. Year-over-year increases have ranged from 1.9% to 2.2% over the past two years. The amount of time people worked each week, however, rose a tick to 34.6 hours and matched a postrecession high. The labor-force participation rate, meanwhile, edged up to 62.8% from 62.7% as more people looked for work. Employment gains for September and August were revised up by a combined 31,000. The government said the 256,000 new jobs were created in September, up from a preliminary 248,000. August's gain was raised to 203,000 from 180,000.
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