The gain was far more than economists expected. In spite of the additional jobs, the unemployment rate rose one tick from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent.
With the partial government shutdown lasting for 16 days in early October, economists had predicted the economy would add 125,000 jobs in October.
The White House this week estimated the government shutdown derailed the creation of 120,000 new jobs in the first two weeks of the month.
The Labor Department also revised job gains for August and September higher, estimating a gain of 238,000 jobs in August, a revision from 193,000 and a gain of 163,000 for September, revising the previously published estimate of 148,000.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate hike from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent was, essentially, a glitch, as the rate includes 800,000 federal employees who were displaced from their jobs. Even though they had jobs to return to and were paid in full for the time on furlough, they were counted temporarily as unemployed.
The private sector in the month added 212,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 53,000 positions. Employment in restaurants and bars rose by 29,000. Retail added 44,0009 jobs, while manufacturing added 19,000.
Healthcare added 15,000 jobs in October. The size of the federal payroll, however, "continued to trend down," the report said.
Over the past 12 months, the economy has added an average of 190,000 jobs, the department said.