Latest jobs report: Things are looking good

According to the latest job report, the economy added 161,000 in October, effectively dropping the unemployment rate to 4.9%. Taken together with the fact that jobs added during the previous month were revised up considerably by the Labor Department, this suggests that the economy is keeping a steady pace.

Though the drop to 4.9% is only a slight one on a month-to-month basis, we've come a long way since 2009, when the unemployment hit a whopping 10.2%. What's more, October's gains signaled the 73rd consecutive month of job gains for the U.S. economy.

The September job gains were revised upward to 191,000 jobs from the initial tally of 156,000.

Moreover, wage growth, which has been anemic for the better part of the post-recession years, continued to show signs of improvement. Wages increased 2.8% in October compared to a year ago, the fastest growth since June 2009.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, isn't buying it. He has repeatedly called the official unemployment rate a "hoax" and has attempted to discredit the Labor Department's official numbers.

Trump says the unemployment rate is actually closer to 10%, using a broader measure of unemployment, which also counts some part time workers as unemployed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, though, has never relied on this measure to arrive at the country's key unemployment rate.

The Trump campaign called it a "disastrous jobs report," criticizing the economy's performance during President Obama's tenure.

The solid job numbers came one week after America posted its best quarterly economic growth -- 2.9% -- in two years.

Still, growth has been sluggish in the years since the Great Recession. There are still hordes of people out there who haven't been able to find a job in the past year and have since given up looking. In addition, there's about six million Americans working part-time jobs who desire full-time employment. These are among the key challenges the next president will face, whether it's Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Solid job gains and wage growth also helps to clear the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at its next meeting in December. That would be a telltale sign that America's economy is approaching full health.

Barring a major hitch on Election Day, tomorrow we'll find out whose job it will be to continue making the unemployment rate -- not to mention the federal deficit -- go down.

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