Government data out Friday showed hiring cooled but held up at a solid pace in September.
The jobs report offered a snapshot of the American economy at a time of heightened uncertainty.
Trade tensions have added pressure to a labor market that was already expected to slow this year.
Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Government data out Friday showed hiring cooled but held up at a solid pace in September, offering a snapshot of the American economy during a period marked by heightened uncertainty and concerns about a potential slowdown.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the US added 136,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, fewer than the 168,000 created in September but enough to push unemployment levels to fresh lows at 3.5%. Analysts had forecast an increase of 147,000 jobs.
Average hourly earnings increased 2.9% from a year earlier, below the average pace seen in recent months.
Trade tensions have added pressure to a labor market that was already expected to slow this year as the effects of tax cuts and other stimulus measures began to fade. Between July and September, an average of 157,000 jobs were created each month.
“Economic growth, and therefore job creation, are showing clear signs of slowing,” said Cailin Birch, global economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “The core issue behind this is trade policy uncertainty, and the negative impact this has already had on some key export markets for US firms, including the EU and China.”
The effects of tariffs levied between the US and major trading partners have grown increasingly evident in recent weeks, fueling broader concerns about the economy. On Tuesday, data showed the manufacturing sector fell deeper into a recession in September as new orders and hiring cooled further.
“The uncertainty linked to the direction of trade policy may exact a larger price on hiring across goods producing and manufacturing jobs,” said Joe Brusuelas, the chief economist at RSM, a financial consulting firm.
The Trump administration plans to expand tariffs to thousands of consumer products from China and the European Union in the coming months, putting businesses and households more directly at risk. Separate data out Thursday suggested higher costs and uncertainty have started to weigh on the service sector, which accounts for a majority of activity in the economy.
In September, the labor market struggled to pull Americans from the sidelines. The labor-force participation rate held steady at 63.2%, a figure that is low by historical standards and compared with other countries.
This story is developing. Check back for more updates.
Read more: Trump promised to revive US manufacturing. But the sector just plunged deeper into a recession.
Now read: The chief strategist at a $1 trillion investing giant says Trump is doomed to lose his trade war — and explains why that would be the best possible outcome for markets
SEE ALSO: US service-sector growth slows to weakest pace in 3 years as Trump’s trade war continues to weigh
Join the conversation about this story »
Source:: Business Insider