Employers added 261,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October versus a revised gain of only 18,000 in September, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The October unemployment rate was 4.1 percent versus 4.2 percent in September. The number of people out of work fell by 281,000 to 6.5 million.

After data revisions, the U.S. economy has added an average of 162,000 jobs monthly from August to October. Since January, the rate of joblessness has fallen by 0.7 percent, with the number of unemployed down by 1.1 million.

Payrolls expanded in food services, drinking establishments, healthcare, manufacturing and professional, and business services in October. Food and drinking firms added 89,000 jobs versus a decline of 98,000 jobs in September, due to weather-related events like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The addition of 50,000 jobs in professional and business services in October roughly tracked the average monthly increase over the past 12 months.

Manufacturing payrolls climbed by 24,000. Employment in computer and electronic products grew by 5,000 jobs, with payrolls expanding in chemicals by 4,000 and fabricated metals up 4,000. Manufacturing employment has grown 156,000 jobs since November 2016.

In the healthcare sector, October job creation totaled 22,000, led by ambulatory healthcare services with 16,000 jobs added. The healthcare industry — which generates about one-sixth of the national economy, estimated to be $18.46 trillion in 2016 has grown an average of 24,000 jobs per month in 2017, compared to 2016's average monthly increase of 32,000.

In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees remained about the same at $22.22. Year-over-year average hourly earnings are up by 63 cents, or 2.4 percent.

The rate of labor force participation, or percentage of the labor force with paid work, fell by 0.4 percent to 62.7 percent in October. This metric has remained essentially the same during the past 12 months.

The Labor Department's October figures do not include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, hard hit by Hurricane Maria.

Companies of 1-49 employees added 79,000 jobs last month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Firms with 50-499 employees created 66,000 jobs, while businesses of 500 employees added 90,000 jobs.

The goods-producing sector of the economy added 85,000 jobs in October, and construction payrolls led the way with 62,000 jobs.

The service sector added 150,000 jobs. Business and professional services was the leading job creator with 109,000, followed by trade and transportation at 50,000.

"The job market remains healthy, and hiring bounced back with one of the best performances we've seen all year," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement.

"Although the service providing sector was hard hit last month due to the weather, we saw significant growth in professional services, especially in the higher paid professional technical jobs. Additionally, small businesses rebounded well from the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, posting very strong gains."