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November 03, 2006
Jobless Rate Dips to Five-Year Low

Payroll employment grew by 98,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since 2001, according to a report by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The bureau said the unemployment rate fell from 4.6 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October.

The bureau also reported better payroll employment gains for the months of August and September than initial estimates indicated. In the revised report, the bureau said payroll employment increased by 148,000 jobs in September and 230,000 jobs in August.

In October, job growth continued in several service-providing industries, while employment declined in manufacturing and construction.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings rose by 6 cents in October to $16.91, seasonally adjusted. Average weekly earnings rose by 0.7 percent in October to $573.25. Over the year, average hourly earnings increased by 3.9 percent and average weekly earnings increased by 4.2 percent.

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