The unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked down to 9.0 percent. The U.S. gained just 80,000 new jobs in October, less than economists expected, but the number of jobs added in previous months were both revised up in October's jobs report released on Friday.
Another positive from the report was a slight boost in average hourly earnings by 0.2 percent, the Labor Department reported. The number of jobs added in August and September were up to 104,000 and 158,000, respectively.
Economists expected nonfarm payrolls to gain about 95,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to remain steady at 9.1 percent, Reuters reports.
The numbers follow a better-than-expected third quarter in which gross domestic product rose by 2.5 percent, and household spending and business investment increased.
But payrolls have to gain around 125,000 new jobs per month to keep the unemployment rate steady. To bring it down a percentage point over a year takes something closer to 200,000 additional jobs per month.
The Federal Reserve sharply revised down its projections for U.S. economic growth on Wednesday and said it expects the unemployment rate to remain above 7 percent until at least 2014.