Unemployment Rate Ticks Up To 7.3 Percent

Effects of government shutdown felt, unemployment ticks up

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Job seekers read event schedule materials during the Job Hunters Boot Camp at the San Mateo Event Center on October 16, 2013 in San Mateo, Calif.

The U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, beating analyst expectations, but the unemployment rate still ticked up to 7.3 percent, the government announced Friday.

The October jobs report was widely expected to show low growth numbers because the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys took place in the middle of the government shutdown, which began on Oct. 1 and ended on Oct. 17.

Previously reported jobs numbers for August and September were also revised upwards, and the administration used the opportunity to argue that Republicans had hurt the economy by waging the fight over President Barack Obama’s health care law that led to the shutdown.

“There should be no debate that the shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship inflicted unnecessary damage on the economy in October,” Jason Furman, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisors, wrote in a blog post.

The Federal Reserve is expected to look closely at this month’s jobs report as it meets in December to weigh options at is seeks to balance spurring economic growth with the need to eventually scale back its massive government bond-buying policy.