U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 250k jobs in October as employment in the leisure and hospitality sector bounced back after being held down by Hurricane Florence, which drenched North and South Carolina in mid-September.

There were also big gains in construction, professional and business services payrolls, and manufacturing, where employment increased by the most in 10 months.

The economy created 118k jobs in September.

The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate was steady at a 49-year low of 3.7% as 711k people entered the labor force, in a sign of confidence in the jobs market.

The market had forecast payrolls would increase by 190k jobs in October and the unemployment rate would be unchanged at 3.7%.

Average hourly earnings rose five cents, or 0.2%, in October after advancing 0.3% in September. That boosted the annual increase in wages to 3.1%, the biggest gain since April 2009, from 2.8% in September.

Employers also increased hours for workers last month. The average workweek rose to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in September.

The Fed is not expected to raise rates at its policy meeting next week, but the market believes October's strong labor market data could see the U.S. central bank signal an increase in December. The Fed raised borrowing costs in September for the third time this year.

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