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Steady hiring, lower jobless rate suggest improving economy

WASHINGTON — Steady October employment gains and a drop in the jobless rate to levels last seen in July 2008 suggest the U.S. economy is getting back to normal. Employers added 214,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, helping to push the unemployment rate down a tenth of a percentage point to 5.8 percent. Job gains were across all sectors of the economy, and hiring estimates for August and September were increased by a combined 31,000 jobs. “All the trend lines in the job market look very good,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist for forecaster Moody’s Analytics. “Job growth is consistently strong and the gains are broad-based across industries…