U.S. Employment Rate Lowest in 17 Years

Weekly Unemployment Claims Rise Higher Than Expected

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The United States unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 years this month the Labor Department reported over the weekend.

The jobless rate fell to 4.1 percent, down a tenth of a point from September, and the lowest the economy has seen since December 2000.

"Today's report, albeit a little bit mixed, is still a relatively decent number. It still points towards the positive trend that we've seen in payroll growth over the last several months and the last couple of years actually," said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank, told CNBC. "In general, the economy is moving along, though a little softer than many market participants anticipated."

This happened because job creation continued to grow despite recent hurricanes, Maria and Irma. Employers still managed to add approximately 261,000 new job openings to the economy as businesses re-opened after these catastrophes.

Economists had expected an even bigger employment rebound from the storms, with a consensus forecast calling for 300,000 net new positions.

Jobs in bars and restaurants were able to completely rebound from the hurricanes, adding around 89,000 positions in October following September's 98,000 decline. Professional and business services contributed 50,000 to the job market while manufacturing added 24,000, CNBC reports.

As of July 2017, California had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent. This was only .5 percent higher than the reported unemployment rate for the nation.

The United States has been adding around 170,000 jobs a month this year, which is the slowest pace since 2010, but still a healthy rate, economists said.

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