Overall, the trend this year has been toward softer job growth. “This is a strong report but the labor market is not exactly firing on all cylinders,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital. Wage growth, meanwhile, moderated a bit last month. Average hourly earnings rose to $17.58 in October, a 0.2 percent increase. That was down slightly from a 0.3 percent rise in September. Over the past 12 months, wages were up 3.8 percent.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Those hiring increases more than offset jobs losses at factories, construction companies and mortgage businesses – casualties of the troubles in the housing and credit markets. Retailers and trucking companies also shed jobs. “There is no question that employers are more cautious as they look forward. But I think many of them are not seeing it in their actual operations. They need workers and they are hiring,” said John Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a placement firm. The latest report on employment conditions nationwide was better than economists anticipated. They had expected payrolls in October to grow by a much smaller 80,000. “Businesses have not clammed up on the hiring scene as some feared,” said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. “The wheels aren’t coming off the economy.” On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials, down most of the session and reflecting investors’ skittishness, managed an eleventh-hour turnaround. The index gained 27.23 points to close at 13,595.10. A housing collapse and a mortgage meltdown haven’t stopped the nation’s job machine from chugging ahead. Employers added twice as many new jobs to their ranks as expected in October, an encouraging sign that all the problems facing the economy haven’t short-circuited job creation. The Labor Department reported Friday that the nation’s payrolls grew by a net 166,000, the most in five months. The unemployment rate didn’t budge at 4.7 percent, a figure considered low by historical standards. Job gains were logged at schools, hospitals, bars and restaurants, hotels and motels, temporary-help firms, legal services, accounting and bookkeeping companies, the government and other places.