USA hiring cooled in September by more than forecast, wage gains eased slightly and the jobless rate fell to a 48-year low, illustrating a tight labour market as well as the impact of Hurricane Florence.
Other features of the household survey, from which the jobless rate is derived, also showed 276,000 folks couldn't work during the week the Bureau of Labor Statistics does its monthly survey because of weather reasons.
The low unemployment rate provided more evidence of a booming economy, which is now in a record eight-year streak of job gains. The number of unemployed people in the US shrank by 270,000 to 6 million.
The last time the USA jobless rate was so low preceded more than a decade of economic pain tied to rising price pressures and efforts to rein them in. July's numbers were revised up to 165,000 jobs from the previous estimate of 147,000; at the same time August's job number was revised up to 270,000 from the initial estimate of 201,000. The unemployment rate is forecast falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent, an 18-year low first hit in May.
Newly released data by the Labor Department shows that U.S. employers added 134,000 jobs last month with hiring increases within construction, manufacturing and health care sectors.
Exports of goods and services fell 0.8 percent to US$209.4 billion in August.
That storm struck North and SC in mid-September and closed thousands of businesses. It said it was impossible to quantify the net effect on employment.
Cuba and Mexico issue alerts as tropical storm inches closer
Even if a tropical cyclone doesn't form, tropical moisture will move north and northeastward in the Gulf of Mexico. This area of low pressure has a high likelihood of becoming an organized, named system before the weekend is over.
While Florence probably affected the figures during the month, hiring may settle into a more sustainable pace after a strong run that has pushed the economy closer to full employment.
So far this year, the average number of jobs created each month is 16 percent higher than last year. It also showed the labour market continuing to tighten, perhaps eventually pressuring companies to pay workers more.
Average hourly earnings rose at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in September, down from 2.9 percent in August. Compared with a year ago, average hourly earnings were up 2.8%, slightly less than the 2.9% in August, owing to a tougher comparison. Amazon responded on Tuesday by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Overall government payrolls increased by 13 000. That gauge includes part-time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren't actively looking. September's unemployment rate has decreased or remained the same every year since it hit a high of 9.8 percent in 2009.
The US economy continued to smash expectations and break records in September, with recently released data showing the unemployment rate dropping to just 3.7%; the lowest level since December 1969.
Manufacturers, which are more dependent on foreign markets than other industries, added 18,000 jobs last month, a sign that the trade fight so far is having little effect on hiring.
And he said he expects the economy can maintain the "very good pace" of job creation.