Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 214,000 in October, below analyst expectations of 235,000, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment increased in food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care – essentially in mostly lower paying jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $24.57 in October. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2%. In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.70.

Both the unemployment rate (5.8%) and the number of unemployed persons  (9 million) edged down in October. Since the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have declined by 0.8 percentage point and 1.2 million, respectively

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 4.8% in October. The rates for adult men (5.1%), adult women (5.4 %), teenagers (18.6%), blacks (10.9%), and Hispanics (6.8%) changed little over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 5%, little changed from a year earlier.

In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.9 million. These individuals accounted for 32.0 % of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed at a low of 62.8% in October and has been essentially flat since April.

In October, job growth occurred in food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care. Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October, compared with an average gain of 26,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.  Employment in retail trade rose by 27,000 in October.

Health care added 25,000 jobs in October, about in line with the prior 12-month average gain of 21,000 jobs per month.

In October, employment continued to trend up in temporary help services  (+15,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+7,000).   In October, manufacturing employment continued on an upward trend (+15,000). 

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.