Hiring in September slowed as the U.S. employers added 136,000, further stoking fears that the country is headed for an economic downturn. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the economy to have added 145,000 last month, after adding 130,000 jobs in August.
The pace of hiring has gone down significantly since last year. Employers added an average of 223,000 jobs per month in 2018 but that figure has dropped 161,000 this year.
Health care created 41,000 jobs, while business and professional services added 34,000 jobs. Transportation and warehousing added 16,000, while leisure and hospitality posted jobs gains of 21,000. Meanwhile, the manufacturers sector lost 2,000 jobs last month while the retail sector slashed 11,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% last month from 3.7% in August, according to the jobs report which was published by the Labor Department on Friday morning. September’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate since December 1969.
Economists had forecast a jobless rate of 3.7%, according to Refinitiv. The department revised August and July jobs reports up by a combined 45,000 jobs. August jobs report was revised higher from 130,000 to 168,000 and July jobs report from 159,000 to 166,000.
Average hourly wage growth slowed to 2.9% last month, marking the slowest pace of growth since July 2018. Economists were expecting average hourly wages to grow 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.
Following the report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.90% to 26,435.90. The S&P 500 climbed 0.90% to 2,936.89 while the Nasdaq composite jumped 0.92% to 7,944.48.