The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 8, 2013

US added unexpectedly strong 204,000 jobs in Oct.

Bump in unemployment rate related to shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in October added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs to the economy in a month when the government was partly shut down for 16 days. And employers added far more jobs in August and September than previously thought.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday. But that was likely because furloughed federal workers were temporarily counted as unemployed.

The surge in jobs shows the economy was stronger in October than many economists had expected. Activity at service companies and factories also accelerated last month, an earlier report showed. The figures signal that many U.S. companies shrugged off the shutdown.

"It's amazing how resilient the economy has been in the face of numerous shocks," said Joe LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank.

Growth could remain healthy in coming months and perhaps pick up next year, economists say. Growing demand for homes should support construction. And auto sales will likely stay strong because many Americans are buying cars after putting off big purchases since the recession struck nearly six years ago.

Job growth is a major factor for the Federal Reserve in deciding when to reduce its economic stimulus. The Fed has been buying bonds each month to keep long-term interest rates low to encourage borrowing and spending.

Stocks rose in late-morning trading as investors assessed the stronger-than-expected job growth. But the yield on the 10-year Treasury note surged to 2.74 percent from 2.60 percent late Thursday. That showed that some investors worry that the healthier job growth might prompt the Fed to pull back on its bond buying soon.

Economists differed about the consequences for the Fed. Some said last month's solid hiring probably isn't sufficient for the Fed to slow its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program when it meets Dec. 17-18.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014

  • Accelerants fuel fire; 2 rescued ST. PAUL — Two brothers were rescued from the upper floor of a St. Paul duplex in a fire that was fueled by cylinders of gas, oxygen and other accelerants. Authorities say the two were taken to Regions Hospital where one man is in critical condition

    July 21, 2014

  • Monticello doctor dies in cycle crash Patients among those mourning Dr. Eric Lefebvre's death

    July 21, 2014

  • Precautions urged for excessive heat, humidity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Health officials are urging Minnesotans to take precautions in dealing with high temperatures and humidity. The National Weather Service says the humidity will make temperatures feel like 100 to 110 degrees Monday across much of M

    July 21, 2014