Labor Dept.: Unemployment, job growth down in September

The American Economy Added Just 134,000 Jobs in September Unemployment Drops to Lowest Level Since 1969		AFP5 Oct 2018

And he said he expects the economy can maintain the "very good pace" of job creation.

There was a huge upward revision to job growth in August, to 270,000 from 201,000, and an upward revision to job growth in July to 165,000 from 147,000, for a combined upward revision of 87,000.

The economy needs to create roughly 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

Meanwhile, record imports drove the United States trade deficit up for the third straight month in August.

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September, a low not seen since 1969.

The Fed raised rates last week for the third time this year and removed the reference in its post-meeting statement to monetary policy remaining "accommodative".

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The Labour Department said it was possible that Hurricane Florence, which lashed South and North Carolina in mid-September, could have affected employment in some industries.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended September 29, the Labor Department said on Thursday. "T$3 he official data only include people who were paid something - anything - in the survey period". The average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours, department figures showed.

The jobless rate for adult men is 3.4 per cent, teenagers 12.8 per cent, Blacks 6 per cent, Asians 3.5 per cent and Hispanics 4.5 per cent, the data said.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60 billion worth of USA products. Some companies are starting to boost wages - Amazon.com Inc. being among the latest to pledge raises - to attract or retain workers. The most direct evidence of the hurricane's impact showed up in the elevated number of workers who reported reduced hours due to bad weather - this metric was over six times larger than what is normal for September. The September gain extended an 8½-year streak of monthly job growth. The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies while US Treasury yields were higher. Figures issued Thursday showed applications for unemployment benefits fell in the week ended September 29 following a storm-related surge in the prior week, and claims are once again near the lowest level in nearly five decades.

The U.S. economy added 134,000 jobs last month, below expectations and the monthly average for the year.

Average hourly pay rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier, a moderate gain and one tick below the year-over-year increase in August. 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.

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"The momentum in the labor market remains strong and we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY.

For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic. "The standard measures just don't reflect those increases well, if at all".

The September jobs report was either noteworthy or disappointing, depending on how you look at it. Manufacturers expanded their payrolls by 18,000.

Many forecasters believe it will decline even more in the months to come. Health care and transportation and warehousing have also continued their strong gains, adding 26,000 and 24,000 jobs respectively in September.

The escalating trade war between the USA and China does not appear to have affected hiring in factories.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60 billion worth of USA products.

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