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U.S. economy adds 136,000 jobs in September

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper: Private sector adds more jobs than expected in September