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US payrolls rise, giving Obama some relief

Published on Nov 2, 2012 8:38 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US employers stepped up hiring last month and the jobless rate ticked higher as more workers restarted job hunts, a hopeful sign for a lacklustre economy that has dragged on President Barack Obama's re-election chances.

Employers added 171,000 people to their payrolls last month, the Labour Department said on Friday. The government also said 84,000 more jobs were created in August and September than initially estimated.

The jobless rate edged a tenth of a point higher to 7.9 per cent, but that was due to a surge of workers back into the workforce. Only people who have recently looked for a job can count as unemployed.

The employment data was the last major report card on the economy before Tuesday's presidential election, which pits Mr Obama against Republican Mitt Romney.

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