The U.S. economy added 136,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate fell even lower, from 3.7% to 3.5% — the lowest level since December 1969 — the government said on Friday.
Why it matters: While it's fewer than the 145,000 economists expected, the labor market continues to be the bright spot in the economy. The number may calm recession fears after a week that saw deterioration in manufacturing data and softening on the all-important services side of the economy.
The big picture: Jobs gains were better than expected in prior months, too.
- July numbers were revised higher to 166,000 from 159,000, while August's job gains were revised to 168,000 from 130,000.
- Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics are at an all-time low.
Between the lines: One dark spot in the report: wages rose only 2.9% on an annual basis — a slowdown from previous months. This is surprising given how low the unemployment rate is, which would typically push employers to bid wages higher in order to attract employees.