Oct 4, 2019

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

Go deeper

October jobs report surprises with 128,000 jobs added

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October — more than the 75,000 economists expected — while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The strong numbers come despite job growth held down by the 40-day United Auto Workers strike against General Motors, which has since ended.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

Pay raises slow in weakening economy

People attend a job fair in Miami, Fla., in April 2019. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Just one-fifth of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their companies have hired additional workers in the past three months, AP's Christopher Rugaber reports.

Why it matters: That is down from one-third in July. A broad measure of job gains also fell to its lowest level since October 2012.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019

Services data is following manufacturing

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bullish market analysts and money managers have been somewhat dismissive of deteriorating manufacturing data this year and its importance, arguing that the sector makes up a minute portion of the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: While that is true, manufacturing is a leading indicator, and more bearish investors have insisted the sector's decline would drag the rest of the economy down with it.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019