The unemployment rate in the USA fell to 3.7 per cent in September, the lowest since December 1969, when hundreds of thousands of working-age Americans were serving in Vietnam, according to a new report by the Labour Department.
U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 134,000 jobs last month, the fewest in a year, as the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors shed employment.
The Labor Department said it was possible that Hurricane Florence, which lashed the Carolinas in mid-September, could have affected employment in some industries. Hurricane Florence likely weighed on job growth in September 2018, just as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma weighed on job growth in September 2017.
With September's increase below the 0.5 per cent gain notched during the same period last year, the annual rise in wages fell to 2.8 per cent from 2.9 per cent in August, which was the biggest advance in more than nine years.
However, the number of jobs added was only 134,000, down from 270,000 in August.
But he said the very low unemployment rate also reflected an increase in the number not looking for work, who were not classified as unemployed.
From the low point in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the number with jobs has increased by nearly 20 million.
The economy added 134,000 jobs in September while previous estimates were revised up from 147,000 to 165,000 for July and from 201,000 to 270,000 for August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on October 5. Pointing to the economy's health, the Fed last week raised its benchmark short-term rate and predicted that it would continue to tighten credit into 2020 to manage growth and inflation.
"Businesses of all sizes are indicating they are doing whatever they can to keep their workers", said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.
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All eyes on Wall Street will be on September's USA employment report.
The Federal Reserve approved the third rate increase of the year, last month.
The unemployment rate for September dropped two-tenths of a point from August to 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Fed is forecasting the economy will grow 3.1 percent this year - that's up from the 2.8 percent it projected in June.
Employers added fewer nonfarm positions than expected as Hurricane Florence caused job losses in restaurants and bars.
Economists say there is no indication the labor market is expected to weaken anytime soon.
In September, professional and business services grew by 54,000, transportation and warehousing jobs by almost 24,000, construction by 23,000, manufacturing by 18,000 and health care by almost 30,000. The slow pace of wage growth has been a persistent source of disappointment in the recovery, and economists have long looked for evidence that the tight labor market is at last forcing companies to hand out raises.
The escalating trade war between the United States and China does not appear to have affected hiring in factories.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the overall trade deficit swelling to US$53.5 billion in August.
This comes despite President Donald Trump's tariffs on goods from countries including China and those of the European Union. African-Americans, Latinos and other groups that often face discrimination are experiencing some of their lowest rates of joblessness on record. Job growth has repeatedly defied economists' predictions of a slowdown.