The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in October--fewer than the 158,000 new jobs from the previous month, but enough to force the national unemployment rate down one-tenth of a point to nine percent.

October's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports a continuing trend: limited private sector growth (albeit below forecasts) offset by government job losses.

"The October numbers are disappointing in that the country only added 80,000 net new jobs," said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.

"On the plus side, net private sector jobs created were higher than net overall as government jobs are being cut. Private sector payrolls rose 104,000 in October.

"And revisions to prior months' estimates showed actual gains of 102,000 more net new jobs in September and August than previously announced"

Those private sector numbers showed continued job growth in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and mining. Professional and business services grew by 562,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

Healthcare employment continued to expand in October, with 313,000 new jobs in the last 12 months. Mining, particularly oil and gas extraction, also added jobs in October.

Manufacturing employment changed little in October and was flat for the past three months. The construction sector lost 20,000 jobs for the month.

While the country now has posted 13 consecutive months of job growth (or at least no net losses), the economy remains sluggish, at best.

"We still have a long way to go," said Gioia. "We need job gains of 300,000 plus per month to seriously impact a full economic recovery."

Connecticut's October jobs numbers will be released on November 21.