Nov. 8, 2004--Maybe the election was all about the economy after all, at least when it comes to new jobs.

Following on the heels of George W. Bush's victory in this week's election, the Labor Department announced that 337,000 jobs were added to the nation's payrolls last month--doubling the result expected by Wall Street economists. October's result is the best since 353,000 jobs were added in March.

The department also revised the job-creation numbers for August and September, showing that an additional 113,000 jobs were added in those two months alone.

"We've now seen 14 straight months of job creation and nearly 2.4 million new jobs created," said Elaine L. Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, in a statement. "This is vindication of the President's steady, consistent leadership that has always focused on what is best for America's working families."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics credited October's strong job numbers to the 71,000 new construction jobs added in the Southeast following the four hurricanes that struck the U.S. in August and September.

The slight downside to the news was that unemployment actually rose a tenth of a point to 5.5% as previously discouraged job seekers resumed their search.

The unexpected good news should give hope to President Bush as he attempts to overcome the fact that in his first term, he became the first president since the Great Depression to see the country lose more jobs than it gained.