WASHINGTON Employers stepped up hiring in October, a hopeful sign for the economic recovery and potentially an 11th hour boost for President Barack Obama's bid for re-election, even though the unemployment rate rose from near four-year lows.
* Nonfarm payrolls increased 184,000 and job gains for the previous two months were revised up to show 84,000 more positions created than previously reported.
* Job gains in October were almost across the board, with the exception of government, where payrolls fell 13,000 after three months of increase. Temporary help jobs, often seen as a harbinger for permanent hiring, rebounded from two straight months of losses.
* Manufacturing payrolls also rebounded and construction jobs jumped 17,000, the most since January thanks to a pickup in home building activity, which has been supported by the Federal Reserve's ultra easy monetary policy stance.
* While the unemployment rate edged up by a tenth of a percentage point to 7.9 percent, that was because people joined the labor force, a sign of confidence in the labor market. The household survey from which the jobless rate is derived showed solid gains in employment, building on a robust performance in September that had cut the unemployment rate by three percentage point during that month.
* But there is more to be done. The slack in the labor market has weighed heavily on earnings growth. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose only one cent and the workweek was steady.
Over the past 12 months, hourly earnings for all workers are up just 1.6 percent, the lowest on records dating to early 2007. A measure with a longer track record that covers only production and non-supervisory employees was up only 1.1 percent -- the lowest on records dating to 1964. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Tim Ahmann)