Restaurants and bars went on a hiring spree in October as establishments that had been shuttered by hurricanes in Texas and Florida during September reopened for business last month. The category gained nearly 89,000 jobs, after having shed 98,000 in September.
Other strong sectors in October were health care and social assistance, which added nearly 34,000 jobs, and administrative and support services, which added roughly 30,000. Manufacturing gained 24,000, led by makers of durable goods like metal products, autos, and computer equipment.
On the losing end was retail, which lost 8,300 jobs, as stores big and small struggle to contend with changing shopping habits. Over the past 12 months, the sector has lost more than 65,000 jobs.
Overall, employers added a solid 261,000 jobs in October, largely reflecting a rebound from hurricanes that had temporarily depressed job gains in September. The unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years.