Nov. 6, 2004 – The economy added 337,000 new jobs in October, the biggest increase since March, but economists cautioned that the gain could be temporary.
"This is the kind of job report you want to see at this stage of an economic recovery," Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive research group. "But we've been here before. Whether this will be a persistent trend is hard to know."
The unemployment rate also increased slightly to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent, as previously discouraged unemployed workers renewed efforts to find work.
Economic analysts attributed some of the gains to hurricane reconstruction efforts in the Southeast.
Despite the overall strong numbers, the manufacturing sector lost 5,000 jobs, and employment in part-time positions and temporary services agencies increased significantly.