After a month where gathering and analyzing economic data when the federal “shutdown” kept much of the numbers on the sideline, two reports released this week provided us with, drum roll please, mixed data.

The unemployment report,real estate investing usually released on the first business Friday of the month was released one week later and showed that the unemployment rate ticked up a notch while at the same time, the number of people back to work was greater than anticipated.

The unemployment rate increased to 7.3 percent from 7.25 percent from the previous month while adding 204,000 jobs while July and September numbers were revised upward by 60,000. Retail businesses, manufacturing and health care were the primary beneficiaries of the back to work crowd. More people are indeed back to work but for the economy to experience a true rebound, something along the lines of 300,000 is needed. Not so say that the 204,000 is unwelcomed, but still not the sign of a healthy economy.

And those furloughed government workers? Apparently the “shutdown” had little to no effect on the count, at least not in terms of the unemployment rate or payroll numbers.

Within the report is another statistic that economists pay attention to, and that’s the participation rate. That’s the number of people actively in the workforce, either working or looking for work. The percent of people in the workforce today is now at its lowest level in 35 years, according to the October data.

The Consumer Confidence index for October was also released this week, with consumer confidence falling to two year lows. This is an interesting accounting because more people were back to work in October and the expected result was a more favorable consumer sentiment, not a lower one. Maybe the partial shutdown affected consumer attitudes more than it affected reality.