WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers added a stellar 250,000 jobs last month and boosted average pay by the most in nearly a decade in an effort to attract and keep workers.
The Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the last major economic data before the Nov. 6 election, also shows the unemployment rate remained at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent.
The influx of new job-seekers lifted the proportion of Americans with jobs to the highest level since January 2009.
Consumers are the most confident they have been in 18 years and are spending freely and propelling brisk economic growth. The U.S. economy is in its 10th year of expansion, the second-longest such period on record, and October marks the 100th straight month of hiring, a record streak.