Economy Adds 161,000 Jobs Ahead of Election, Shy of Expectations

The economy created slightly fewer jobs than analysts predicted.

ByABC News
November 4, 2016, 8:35 AM
A man going over invoices in the office in this undated photo.
A man going over invoices in the office in this undated photo.
Getty Images

— -- The final jobs report before Americans go to the polls to choose their new president came in slightly below analysts’ expectations.

The U.S. economy created 161,000 jobs in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.9 percent.

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.

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