Surprising Jobs Report Unfazed by Government Shutdown

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The U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs in October — in the midst of a two-week shutdown of the federal government — shocking analysts who were expecting dismal numbers. The Labor Department also revised September's report (which was released late because of that same shutdown) upward. Most economists had only expected around 120,000, but the evidence now suggest that the private sector mostly ignored the chaos in Washington.

However, the unemployment rate (which is derived from a different survey) did rise slightly to 7.3 percent. That number did take into account the furlough of 800,000 federal employees during October.

As usual, the report is a mix of good news and bad news, mostly depending on your perspective. Analysts are likely breathing a sigh of relief that the job market didn't completely collapse during the crazy month, but there are still a lot of people out of work and the economy is far from healed. Also, if you were a Democratic strategist secretly hoping for an economic disaster you could pin on Congressional Republicans, you didn't get it. Maybe things might have been better without the shutdown, but you can't prove the unknown and good news is still good news.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.