a percentage point to 7.3 percent.
Last month's job gains pushed them above the 190,000 average for the past 12 months. But there was some bad news as more people dropped out the labor force, pushing the participation rate to 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978.
The department said the drop in the participation rate was not related to the government shutdown as furloughed government workers remained in the labor force.
The private sector accounted for all the job gains last month, with government payrolls shrinking 8,000.
Despite the better-than expected payrolls count, that is unlikely to change expectations of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter, given that consumer spending slackened and business inventories rose in the July-September period.