156,000 jobs added in US, unemployment rate little changed


The Boston Globe | By CHristopher S Rugaber
October 7, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in September, a decent gain that reflects a healthy economy but also a sign that hiring has slowed from its robust pace last year.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent from 4.9 percent, but mostly for a positive reason: More Americans came off the sidelines and looked for work, though not all of them found jobs.

Job growth has averaged 178,000 a month so far this year, down from last year’s pace of 229,000. Still, hiring at that level is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Economists have expected the pace to slow as the supply of unemployed workers declines.

The hiring figures could keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise the short-term interest rate it controls by December. After seven years of pinning that rate at a record low near zero to try to spur more borrowing and spending, the Fed raised its rate in December. It has not acted since.

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