The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October as the country's unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent, the Labor Department said in a release Friday. August and September's numbers were additionally revised upwards:

More from The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October and hiring was stronger over the previous two months than first thought. The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.

The Labor Department's last look at hiring before Tuesday's election sketched a picture of a job market that is gradually gaining momentum after nearly stalling in the spring.

Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month, up from 67,000 a month from April through June.

Still, President Barack Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt. The rate ticked up because more people without jobs started looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.

Investors were pleased by the news. The Dow Jones industrial average futures were flat before it came out at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and within minutes they were up 30 points.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 1.77 percent from 1.72 percent, a sign that investors were moving money out of bonds and into stocks.

Most of the details in the report were positive. The government revised the jobs figures to show that 84,000 more jobs were added than previously estimated.

The gains in October were widespread across most industries. And the percentage of Americans working or looking for work rose for the second straight month.

The economy has added jobs for 25 straight months. There are now 580,000 more jobs than when Obama took office.

But there were also signs of the economy's ongoing weakness. Average hourly pay dipped a penny to $23.58. And the number of unemployed increased 170,000 to 12.3 million.

The department said Hurricane Sandy had no noticeable impact on the report.

The economy has picked up a bit in recent weeks, mostly on the strength of consumers. Americans are more confident and buying more big-ticket items, like cars and appliances. Auto companies reported steady sales gains last month despite losing three days of business to the storm in heavily populated areas of the Northeast.

Yet businesses remain nervous about the economy's future course. Many are concerned that Congress will fail to reach a budget deal before January. If lawmakers can't strike an agreement, sharp tax increases and spending cuts will take effect next year and possibly trigger another recession.

American companies are also nervous about the economic outlook overseas. Europe's financial crisis has pushed much of that region into recession and cut into U.S. exports and corporate profits.

Check back for additional updates.

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More than 1.8 million Americans had been out of work at least 99 weeks in October, essentially unchanged from October of last year.

--Arthur Delaney

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You can check out the White House's statement on the jobs report here. There is almost no difference between the first and last part of this statement and the same portions of past White House statements on the jobs report.

Here are the White House's statements from October, September, and August for comparison.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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45.7 percent of the U.S. population had a good job in October, or a full-time job that lasts for at least 30 hours per week, up from 45.1 percent in September, according to a report by Gallup released on Friday morning. This is the highest level that the payroll-to-population rate has reached since Gallup started tracking the metric in 2010.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has released an arguably misleading statement on the jobs report:

Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity.

Roughly 12 million Americans are unemployed, according to the Labor Department -- not 23 million. The latter number refers to "total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons," according to the Labor Department.

The economy also is not standing still. It grew at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of this year, according to the Commerce Department.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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From a research note from Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics:

In short, the data are signaling fairly healthy job growth, with much of the strength continuing to show up in revisions instead of the initially reported data. The gains in both payrolls and the household survey employment measure make a downtrend in the unemployment rate quite credible. Today's report will be viewed as good news in the White House.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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@ JoshDorner : Mark Zandi calls the jobs report "good, very good." "When you add it all up it feels really good."

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From a research note from Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist at Bloomberg LP:

The real good news is what is not listed in the report. Once the election passes and the fiscal cliff is addressed, hiring from the corporate side to meet basic demand should facilitate a move in the pace of private sector hiring toward 200,000 per month, which is the lower end of the range necessary (200-400K) to bring down the unemployment rate is a positive fashion. While, that may seem somewhat Herculean at the moment, it's there and waiting to happen. After a long five years there is indeed some light at the end of the tunnel, that is not an oncoming train.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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@ jimtankersley : Romney: "Today's report is a sad reminder that the econ is at a virtual standstill." Fact-check: No, it's not.

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@ ObsoleteDogma : More housing and less austerity adds up to a real recovery.

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From a research note from James Knightley, senior economist at ING:

Over the past week we have seen GDP, the ISM report, construction activity, confidence and the employment report point to a strengthening US economy. With the unemployment rate trending downwards and the economy adding jobs this is boosting incomes and the feeling of job security. It is encouraging to see this evaluation backed up by the rise in the Conference Board measure of consumer confidence yesterday, which stands at a four and a half year high. These are all good outcomes and offer hope that the fourth quarter GDP numbers won’t be too bad. However, the uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff remains a major concern and the longer the post-election arguments drag on, the more damaging it will be for the economy and for jobs.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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From a research note from Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics:

We doubt that October's Employment Report is either strong enough or weak enough to have any marked impact on next week's presidential election.... The bottom line is that the labour market remains unusually weak, but whether it is weak enough to prevent Obama getting re-elected is anyone's guess.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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@ BCAppelbaum : Change in government jobs: 2009 (-97k) | 2010 (-221k) | 2011 (-256k) | 2012 YTD +20k

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@ ryanavent : And private employment is up 5 million from labor-market bottom in February of 2010. So that's something.

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@ Pat_Garofalo : Unemployment for those with no high school diploma: 12.2%. College grads: 3.8%. http://t.co/7DgBzfQg

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@ mccarthyryanj : Glen Hubbard on CNBC: "This is simply not good enough" job growth (He's right)

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@ dismalscientist : Avg U.S. hourly earnings unchanged in Oct, suggesting new #jobs weighted toward lower paid work. #bls http://t.co/JIpZcFjG

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@ BCAppelbaum : Anyone heard from Jack Welch this morning?

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@ Goldfarb : The economy seems to be strengthening. I'm sure Congress will do something about that.

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@ DKThomp : Whoever wins on Tuesday inherits a jobs recovery that's clearly gaining momentum

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@ justinwolfers : It's not just the strong numbers over the past few months, but also the revisions that make me say: The recovery's got momentum!

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@ conorsen : Construction +17 -- heeeey housing, lookin' good.

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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@ joebrusuelas : Weekly hours, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings remain unchanged. That is the only real sour data in the report. $$

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@ joebrusuelas : Overall solid report that needs to be replicated on a consistent basis for economy to move out of the slow growth trap it is ensnared. $$

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@ Neil_Irwin : Unemployment rate rose, but for good reason. 578k people joined labor force, only 410k of them found jobs.

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From Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Michigan:

@ justinwolfers : Everything about this report is great news: Good payrolls gains; great payrolls revisions; strong household employment growth.,

--Bonnie Kavoussi

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@ markgongloff : August and September jobs revised higher by 85,000

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@ kevinroose : And 7.9% unemployment ahhhhh everyone go crazy RT @Neil_Irwin: +171k on nonfarm payrolls.

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@ TimAeppel : Ready set: Economists expect 125,000 jobs, up from 114,000 jobs in Sept, w unemployment ticking up to 7.9%, from 7.8% a month earlier.

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    <strong>Median hours worked/year:</strong> 2,128 <strong>Median annual salary:</strong> $36,972 <strong>Employment:</strong> 1,172,070 First-line supervisors or managers of retail sales workers directly supervise the work of retail salespeople. They must work longer hours than regular salespeople, as they supervise multiple shifts throughout the workday. Most stores also remain open on the weekend, as well as on many holidays. At the same time, they still work in the retail industry, which is usually low-paying. <a href="http://247wallst.com/2011/12/12/jobs-where-people-work-the-most-for-the-least/#ixzz1gQIVURhY" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St.</a>

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  • 1. Emergency Medical Technicians And Paramedics

    <strong>Median hours worked/year:</strong> 2,188 <strong>Median annual salary:</strong> $30,969 <strong>Employment:</strong> 221,760 Besides being a mentally and physically demanding job, emergency medical technicians and paramedics work an average of 180 hours each year more than the average person. Because many EMT services run 24 hours a day, employees often need to be on call all night. According to EMT Training Spot, EMTs may find themselves working upwards of 10 hours a day, and 45 hours a week. Despite these conditions, EMTs and paramedics earn a median annual salary of just $30,969 -- more than $7,000 less than the national median salary. <a href="http://247wallst.com/2011/12/12/jobs-where-people-work-the-most-for-the-least/#ixzz1gQIVURhY" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St.</a>