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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

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38 mins ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.