U.S. economy adds only 142000 jobs, raising doubts about interest rate rise

In fact, July and August’s numbers were revised downward by a combined 59,000 fewer jobs.


The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1%, as expected. The economy is still millions of jobs short of where it should be. Payrolls increased 136,000 in August instead of the initially reported 173,000. The GDP for the second quarter was 3.9 percent, much higher than anticipated.

As USA dollar gains more than 20 pct in the past 18 months, exports become more expensive for foreign buyers, in which support for economic growth is now lagging.

But Friday’s disappointing news raises questions about whether the slowdown reflects normal volatility or a more sustained drop in hiring.

There was a 1-cent decrease in average hourly earnings last month, bringing the figure to $25.09.

Last month, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided not to raise interest rates following a two day meeting, as global headwinds overshadowed a stronger domestic picture.

The Fed has planned the liftoff for this year, and Fed chief Janet Yellen said recently that the timetable remained on track, but more improvement was needed in labor market conditions. It said last month that the economy’s post-recession recovery was still too fragile to risk a rate hike, but hinted it might go ahead by December.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 447,000, to 6 million, in September. But that’s largely because labor force participation fell to 62.4% – the lowest reading since 1977. The total labor force fell to a 2015 low, losing another 350,000 people. There were 635,000 discouraged workers in September, little changed from a year earlier. Employment at state and local agencies is often influenced at this time of the year by swings in the education sector related to the timing of the school year. Hospitals accounted for 16,000 of the jobs gained in September, and employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+13,000).

Job gains now average just 167,000 a month over the past three months, which is considerably below the 221,000 level reached in June.

There was a good deal of bad news in the report. That helped drive down a broader measure of underemployment, known as U-6, to 10 percent in September – the lowest since May 2008. This is due to low oil prices stopping exploration for oil and gas.


Other industries, including manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, financial activities, government, and transportation and warehousing, were essentially flat for the month.