US September job gains weaker than expected

Washington, Oct 3 (IANS) The US job gains in September came in weaker than expected, indicating that slow global growth and financial market volatility are affecting the economy, data from the US Department of Labour (DOL) said on Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, less than expected, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent, Xinhua news agency reported.

The DOL also revised down the previous two months’ job gains, with the employment gains in July and August combined 59,000 less than previously reported. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 167,000 per month. Last year, job growth averaged 260,000 per month.

The report came weeks after the US Federal Reserve held off raising interest rates amid concerns over the global economy. But some Fed officials, including Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, said recently that the Fed was on track to raise rates sometime this year.

The number of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was barely changed at 2.1 million in September, accounting for 26.6 percent of the unemployed.

The labour force participation rate, or the share of the working-age population employed or looking for a job, further declined to 62.4 percent for the fourth consecutive month.

Average hourly earnings remained largely unchanged at $25.09 in September. Over the year, the figure has risen by 2.2 percent. Economists expected wage growth will accelerate as the labour market tightens.

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