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October Payrolls Add 80K, Chipping at Unemployment

Nonfarm payrolls counted more than 80,000 new jobs for the economy over October, slashing the unemployment rate by a few percentage points but at a clip that analysts say will marginally improve an otherwise uncertain economic outlook.

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The ""Labor Department"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm reported Friday that the jump to more than 100,000 new jobs over September ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a facelift driven largely by a return to work by striking Verizon employees ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô slid back to new figures with few surprising numbers for several industries.

The unemployment rate sauntered back by a few percentage points to crest at 9 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô still high for the country in historic terms.

""Greg McBride"":http://www.bankrate.com/blogs/federal-reserve/about-greg-mcbride-cfa.aspx, a senior financial analyst with finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/, calls the rate of private and net payroll growth for last month ""uninspiring... and insufficient to make a dent in the unemployment rate.""

""Unemployment figures are very volatile on a month-to-month basis,"" adds ""Paul Ashworth"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-ashworth.html, chief U.S. economist

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with consultancy ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/. ""Consumer confidence is really low. We've seen a lot of concern over the stock market and what's happening in Europe.""

The financial services sector crept forward with the addition of about 4,000 jobs over October despite announced departures from originations and lending sectors by big lenders like ""MetLife"":http://www.metlife.com/ and ""Bank of America"":https://www.bankofamerica.com/.

Construction jobs fell back by some 20,000 over October despite a rise in homebuilder confidence last month and higher figures from September.

State and local government payrolls stopped by the chopping block more than any other sector, with job losses for teachers, health care workers, and others approaching 24,000 over October.

McBride attributes job losses at the state and local level to budget constraints, adding that ""private sector payroll growth is more than picking up the slack.""

""Gary Shilling"":http://www.agaryshilling.com/gary.html, president of ""Gary A. Shilling & Co."":http://www.agaryshilling.com/ and author of ""_The Age of Deleveraging_"":http://www.amazon.com/Age-Deleveraging-Investment-Strategies-Deflation/dp/0470596368, tells _MReport_ that pension fund shortfalls continue to hurt state budgets as states deal with their own long-term debt and fiscal problems.

Earlier this week ""Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke"":http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/bernanke.htm reasserted plans to stimulate mortgage markets by reinvesting principal from agency debt in mortgage-backed securities.

He said that members of the Federal Open Market Committee may still ""deploy tools as appropriate"" to grow the economy at a faster clip.

Asked whether fiscal and monetary stimuli will encourage growth, Shilling dismisses the idea, saying, ""There is no magic bullet. People are just constantly looking for this quick fix, and I don't think it exists for growth.""

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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