U.S. Adds 204,000 Jobs, Beats Forecasts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. work force added 204,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.3% from 7.2% in the previous month.

Of concern in an otherwise strong jobs report is that the labor participation rate dropped to 62.8% from an already low 63.2% in the prior month. If not for the drop in participation, the unemployment rate could have been maybe half a percentage point higher than it was, Wells Fargo Private Bank regional chief investment officer Darrell Cronk said in an interview.

Payrolls were expected by economists to have risen by 125,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, down from a gain of 148,000 in September. The unemployment rate was forecast to rise to 7.3% from 7.2%.