WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percent Friday but the economy produced far more jobs last month than expected, giving the last look at the U.S. economy four days before President Barack Obama makes his bid for a second term.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney argues that the recovery should have been stronger by now, and polls show the two virtually tied in what may be the closest race in modern history.
U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October, and hiring was stronger over the previous two months than first thought.
The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September because the work force grew.
Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt.