Hiring and wage gains have so far been strong enough to help shield Americans from falling home values and rising fuel costs, lessening concern that consumer spending will falter. Federal Reserve policy makers this week said strains in financial markets have ``eased somewhat,'' and signaled they are reluctant to lower borrowing costs again.
``The economy is facing credit-market headwinds and a housing market recession, but businesses are still hiring,'' Chris Rupkey, senior financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said before the report. ``You can't have a recession without lost jobs.''
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast an increase of 85,000 in payrolls during the month, according to the median of 86 estimates, compared with an originally reported gain of 110,000 in September. Predictions ranged from 10,000 to 121,000.
Estimates for unemployment ranged from 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent. The rate dropped to 4.4 percent in March, matching the October 2006 level as the lowest in five years.