U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October

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HOUSTON - Want some good news?  According to the U.S. government, the economy added 271,000 new jobs in October.   This unexpected improvement, after two weak months for job creation, brings the unemployment rate down to 5%, the lowest since 2008.

"I'm very excited about these numbers," said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.  "I keep up with the numbers every month, and I believe this has been a consistent pattern for at least four to five years."

Some economists say companies are hiring new employees for the holiday season, and others claim that this is a sign that the economy is growing.  What we do know is that the oil and gas industry is not doing so well, and layoffs here in Houston are multiplying.

"The job market in Houston has softened a little because of dropping oil prices," explained Mayor Annise Parker.  "But there's still many jobs going unfilled: the most critical need we have in this area is skilled trades, construction, mechanics, process engineers."

But no matter what's up with these trends, there's always something people can do to find new opportunities.  For instance: the City of Houston hosted the first career fair for veterans, a place where doors open to those who fought for our freedoms.

"The City of Houston is hiring," declared Mayor Parker.  "We have unfilled jobs for city employment.  We know there are many veterans out there who are mustering out and need jobs."

Local veterans from all the armed forces gathered at the Moody Park Community Center in Northeast Houston, to apply for jobs with the City of Houston's different areas and departments.  Positions available included 911/311 call takers, administrative workers, equipment operators, financial analysts, engineers, mechanics, nurses, project managers, project technicians and safety supervisors.

"The times are tough, especially for us," expressed U.S. Army veteran Alexander Mireles.  "Fortunately, these people are always trying to give you a chance.  My message to other veterans is take the chance, take the opportunity and seize it."

And that's how you build a nation.