WASHINGTON--Hiring by U.S. employers remained steady in October as the unemployment rate edged down and wage growth accelerated to its strongest pace since the recession, signaling solid momentum in the labor market just days before American voters elect a new president.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 161,000 in October from the prior month, following September's upwardly revised gain of 191,000, the Labor Department said Friday.

The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of American households, ticked down to 4.9% last month from 5% in September because the labor force shrank. The labor-force participation rate edged lower, to 62.8% in October from 62.9% the prior month.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 173,000 new jobs and a jobless rate of 4.9% in October.

(More to Come)

Write to Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com and Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 04, 2016 08:55 ET (12:55 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.