Hiring slows to 5-month low, jobless rate drops

Hiring in the United States fell to a five-month low in October, in the clearest sign yet of an economic rebound that's losing strength.

638,000 new jobs were created last month, according to Friday's closely watched employment report. More than 10 million jobs are yet to come back, since the health crisis took a whack at the labor market earlier in the year.

Employers have slowed down on their hiring in recent months as extra financial stimulus from the government dried up and with the health crisis now flaring up again. The U.S. this week set a new daily record on infections.

And there's little chance of another fiscal stimulus package coming out of Washington this year after the vote this week, that puts focus on the Federal Reserve, which months ago pushed interest rates to near zero and have kept them there since.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday acknowledged the rebound was losing strength and pledged to do more and called on Congress to do the same.

"I think we'll have a stronger recovery if we can just get at least some more fiscal support when it's appropriate, you know, when it's appropriate in the size Congress thinks it's appropriate."

But the recovery hasn't lost all of its momentum. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October from 7.9 percent the month before... as some of the tens of millions of Americans who were out of work, started looking for a job again and found one.

It's now the task of whoever wins the battle for the White House to figure out how to put even more people back to work.