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US economy adds surprise 204,000 jobs in October

The US economy added a surprise 204,000 jobs in October despite the government shutdown, double what analysts forecast, the Labor Department reported Friday. With revisions that added 60,000 net new jobs to the previous two months' numbers, the data painted a better picture than expected of job growth in the economy. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.3 percent as expected, compared with 7.9 percent a year ago. The additional jobs all came from the private sector, as governments cut a net 8,000 positions.

US jobless claims elevated in 2nd shutdown week

US jobless claims remained high for the second week of the government shutdown, but fell from the previous week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week to October 19 were 350,000, lower than the revised 362,000 filed the prior week. The data covered the final days of the 16-day partial government shutdown that began on October 1, when hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed without pay due to the impasse in Congress over the budget.

As government springs back to life, so do private industries that rely on feds to do business

The end of the federal shutdown means boats will be back out on the Bering Sea to fish for king crab. Loggers are being allowed back into national forests in Oregon. And barriers keeping nature lovers out of national parks across the country have been removed.

Shutdown-delayed US September jobs report due Tuesday

The US September jobs report, delayed by the government shutdown, will be released next Tuesday, according to a Labor Department calendar released Thursday. The keenly watched report had been scheduled for release on October 4, but was postponed along with most official economic indicators after the federal government partially shut down on October 1 due to a political budget impasse in Congress.

Factbox: Shares of government contractors hit by shutdown rebound

By Julia Edwards (Reuters) - U.S. companies that depend on government contracts as a large part of their business were hit hard during the partial shutdown. The shares of large publicly traded companies with a significant percentage of their revenues from the government dipped below their 20-day moving averages, underperforming the S&P during the market's weakness in the shutdown. The shares have rebounded, and could keep going since a deal to reopen the government has been reached.

White House says all furloughed workers can go back to work, agencies should reopen promptly

WASHINGTON - The federal government is back open for business. The Obama administration changed the government's status to "open" early Thursday, more than two weeks after a partial shutdown took hold when funding from Congress ran out. Minutes after President Barack Obama signed a hard-fought deal struck in Congress, the White House directed all agencies to reopen promptly and in an orderly fashion. Furloughed federal employees across the country are expected to return to work Thursday.

U.S. government employees ordered back to work on Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House moved quickly early on Thursday to get the U.S. government back up and running after a 16-day shutdown, directing hundreds of thousands of workers to return to work. The White House budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, issued a directive to employees minutes after President Barack Obama signed legislation that ended the shutdown and raised the U.S. debt ceiling. Her message: Get back to work on the next regularly scheduled work day, which for most workers is Thursday.

Highlights of bill to end government shutdown and extend debt limit

Highlights of the bill approved Wednesday by Congress to end the partial government shutdown and extend the debt limit: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: Ends it immediately, finances federal agencies through Jan. 15. Workers furloughed without pay when the shutdown began Oct. 1 receive back pay.

US fiscal deal grants backpay for furloughed govt workers

Wednesday's debt-ceiling deal reassured global markets that the US will avert default, but also provided relief through backpay to workers furloughed in the government shutdown. Some 800,000 government employees were forced off the job this month when Congress could not agree on a budget for the new fiscal year, which began October 1. In some departments, like the Environmental Protection Agency, fully 95 percent of staff were deemed non-essential personnel and were effectively unemployed at the start of this month.

Furloughed workers can send bill collectors a letter from Uncle Sam seeking lenience

WASHINGTON - Furloughed federal workers who have trouble paying bills can send their creditors a letter from the government pleading for patience. Some agencies are offering employees a cover letter that explains to creditors the consequences of the government shutdown. One letter distributed to workers at the Department of Health and Human Services asks creditors to "remain patient and show compassion" for employees affected by furloughs.
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