US jobless rates edges down

Analysts had forecast that anywhere from 90,000 to 100,000 new jobs would be created last month.

The Labour Department said that while private employers added 104,000 new positions in October, 24,000 jobs were eliminated in the public sector.

The economy gained 158,000 jobs in September and 104,000 in August, according to the department's revised figures.

The official unemployment rate has been above 8 percent since February 2009, the longest period of elevated joblessness in the US since 1948.

Though more than 1 million new jobs have been created this year, that is far short of what would be needed to make a significant dent in the unemployment rate.

President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill, which envisions higher taxes on the wealthy, has been systematically blocked in Congress by Republicans.

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