The number of new jobs created by the United States economy leapt dramatically in October with employers adding 166.000 posts, twice the expected number, reported the Labor Department.
The surprise growth in jobs suggests the US economy remains robust in the face of a housing slump, credit crunch and high oil prices, analysts said. Separate data showed orders placed at US factories edged up 0.2% in September - having dropped 3.5% in August. This was much better than the predicted 0.4% month-on-month decline. Job gains were prominent in the professional services sector as well as in education and health care, the Labor department said with increases in these areas offsetting losses in manufacturing and construction. But with unemployment steady at 4.7% in October, it appears that the overall economy may be holding up well, observers said. The employment situation in the US is seen as crucial to how well it weathers its financial difficulties. During the last six months 90% of new jobs have been created in three main sectors, education and health, leisure and tourism and government. Weak sector have been construction, retailing and manufacturing indicated the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. In spite of the boom in US exports helped by a weak dollar, manufacturing lost 21.000 jobs mainly because of problems in the auto industry and transport equipment. Residential construction saw a decline of 5.000 jobs and a surprising 21.500 post were lost in retailing just a few weeks away from Xmas holiday season.