The healthy job growth has highlighted a contradiction laid bare by Tuesday's election results: According to most broad measures, the economy is improving steadily and nearing full health. Yet most Americans say they remain anxious about it.
"I think there's a great deal of frustration that the economy should be doing better and that people feel they should be doing better," says Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo.
That view was evident in Tuesday's exit poll results. Nearly 60 percent of voters said they thought the economy was stagnating or worsening. Only one-third saw it as improving.
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Those views took hold even as employers have been adding steadily more jobs and the economy has been expanding at a healthy pace.
The picture has improved enough that the Federal Reserve announced last month that it was ending its bond purchase program, which had been intended to lower interest rates and stimulate economic growth.
So why aren't Americans more cheerful?
Analysts point to several factors. Better hiring and growth have barely boosted paychecks for the vast majority of earners. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly pay rose just 0.3 percent over the 12 months that ended in September, according to government data.
And what wage gains have occurred have benefited mainly the wealthiest. Average income grew 10 percent from 2010 through 2013 for the wealthiest one-tenth of Americans, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Fed. For everyone else, incomes stagnated or declined.
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In addition, the pickup in hiring still hasn't been enough to fully repair the recession's damage, Vitner points out. There are 2.2 million fewer people with full-time jobs than in December 2007, when the recession officially began. Over the same time, the ranks of part-time workers have grown by 2.5 million, many of whom want full-time jobs.