The United States economy created 151,000 jobs in October, which is its best performance since May. Despite the growth, the national unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent.
Many of the new jobs were in the service sector such as healthcare and retail, according to media reports. Economists said that hiring has also improved from temp agencies and there are signs that small to medium sized businesses are beginning to add to their payrolls.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that clinics, hospitals and other healthcare providers added 24,000 jobs last month. John Canally, chief economist at LPS Financial in Boston, said that the healthcare industry hasn't had a decline since July 1999.
"That is basically a testament to demographics: Every month more people enter assisted living facilities and nursing homes," said Canally, quoted by the news provider. "An older population needs more care."
While some officials, including President Barack Obama, said that October's job creation was encouraging, many Republicans blame the current administration for failing to bring about a drop in the unemployment rate in recent months.
“Any job growth is a positive sign, but stagnant and stubbornly high unemployment makes clear why permanently stopping all the looming tax hikes should top Washington’s to-do list this month," said Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio), quoted by Time magazine.