The U.S. economy created 161,000 jobs in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.
Economists surveyed by the Reuters news agency had expected the economy to create 175,000 jobs.
Employment growth this year has averaged 181,000 jobs each month, compared to an average of 229,000 additions in 2015.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, had an upbeat view, telling ABC News that slower growth in recent months is the result of the economy’s reaching full employment, meaning almost everyone who wants a job is able to get one.
"All signs point to continued strong job gains going forward," Zandi said. "This is the best job market in a decade."
The health care, professional and business services and financial activities sectors saw the biggest gains.