Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) — Employment gains exceeded 200,000 for a ninth straight month in October and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a six-year low, indicating companies are optimistic the economy will withstand a slowdown in some overseas markets.

The 214,000 increase in employment followed a 256,000 advance the prior month that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 100 economists called for a 235,000 advance. The jobless rate declined to 5.8 percent, even as more people entered the labor force, boosting the share of the population working to the highest in five years.

Steadfast hiring signals employers are confident domestic demand will hold up in the face of struggling European and emerging economies. Persistent labor-market strength also raises the odds that workers will become more successful in commanding higher wages that, combined with cheaper gasoline prices, lay the groundwork for bigger gains in household spending.

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