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October jobs report smashes expectations with 531,000 gains

The latest U.S. jobs report is here — and unlike those in recent months, it didn't disappoint. 

The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. economy added 531,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent. It was considered a strong number after economists were anticipating gains of about 450,000 jobs, CNBC reports

It also comes after two months of underachievement. In October, the Labor Department said the economy added 194,000 jobs in September, far less than the around 500,000 expected, and the August jobs report also came in under expectations. On Friday, though, the September number was revised up by 118,000 jobs, and the August number was also revised up by 117,000 jobs. "With these revisions," the Labor Department said, "employment in August and September combined is 235,000 higher than previously reported." 

The prior disappointing reports for August and September came as the Delta variant of COVID-19 was leading to a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States. The number of daily cases has since declined. 

"The October jobs report is a step in the right direction, indicating that the improving public health situation is unlocking faster jobs growth," Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao said. "As the latest wave continues to recede, there's room for faster growth in the coming months, especially as vaccinations climb with the expansion of eligibility to children and the new federal vaccine mandate takes effect. The October jobs report shows a labor market warming up and poised for a solid winter."