Jobs Report Raises Concerns on the Course of the Economy
Employers in September added only 142,000 new jobs in the U.S., said a report released by the Labor Department on Friday morning. The report suggested that the economy in the U.S. was losing some momentum after a report that was similarly lackluster the month before.
The official rate of unemployment stayed the same at just 5.1%, but the hourly wage for the private sector dropped slightly following a jump of 0.4% during August.
The report on job growth for August was revised downward sharply from an original 173,000 to 136,000.
The report on Friday came only a few weeks after the U.S. Federal Reserve opted not to lift its benchmark interest rates from their level of close to zero.
The latest evidence the economy is weakening might push an increase in rates into next year.
A chief economist in Wall Street said that the report on Friday unfortunately did not give that much reassurance to the policy makers at the Fed.
Other reports have suggested that while the economy in the U.S. overall remains sturdy, it lost some steam on a number of fronts over the past few months.
In the manufacturing sector the strong dollar as well as the weak demand globally; the energy sector cut backs on investment because of low prices; and farming has been hit due to slumping prices of commodities.
The economy in the U.S. now appears as if it has imported some of the economic malaise of the global economy.
One analyst said that despite the jobs market being resilient of recent, it is starting to show signs of impact from the slowing growth in both China and Europe.
Although the rate of unemployment has held steady the participation of the labor force dropped from 62.6% to 62.4% in September.
With the revision on Friday, jobs gains averaged only 167,000 per month for the past three months.
A sign of a tightening labor market is a rise in wages, but despite unemployment falling significant gains in wages over a period of time have not been easy to come by, said analysts during a conference after the report was released on Friday.
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