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"That said, 134,000 jobs is far from a bad employment number and with August's being revised up by another 69,000, the labour market looks extremely healthy and provides further evidence of a booming economy".

Take extra care interpreting September's jobs figures because of Hurricane Florence, which hit the Carolinas in the middle of the month.

Meanwhile, record imports drove the USA trade deficit up for the third straight month in August.

The data for demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report. Many economists expect pay growth to accelerate in coming months. Job growth is set to slow next year as an inability to find workers weighs on hiring. In the past four quarters, average hourly earnings increased by 2.8% and accelerated to 3.1% in the past two quarters. Additionally, September was the first month since December 2000 that the number of unemployed people fell below 6 million.

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that compared to other countries "a large share of the population remains at the fringes of the labour market".

With September's increase below the 0.5 per cent gain notched during the same period last year, the annual rise in wages fell to 2.8 per cent from 2.9 per cent in August, which was the biggest advance in more than nine years.

US stocks capped the worst week in a month on Friday with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 180.43 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,447.05.

The report reinforced the view of Federal Reserve policymakers, who cited a strong job market when they announced they were increasing a benchmark interest rate - the third hike in a year.

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For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic.

Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending in the gross domestic product report, dropped 0.2 percent in August instead of rising 0.1 percent as reported last month. Households are saving almost 7 percent of their incomes - more than twice the savings rate before the recession.

The economy does show some weak spots. The Fed raised interest rates last month as expected, but has thus far been content to move slowly.

Anticipating stronger growth - and perhaps higher inflation - investors have dumped bonds and forced up their yields. The Fed is forecasting the economy will grow 3.1 percent this year - that's up from the 2.8 percent it projected in June. Sales of existing homes have fallen over the past year. Increasingly expensive houses, higher mortgage rates and a shortage of properties for sale are slowing purchases.

While Florence probably affected the figures during the month, hiring may settle into a more sustainable pace after a strong run that has pushed the economy closer to full employment. Auto sales have also slumped.

"No-one at the Fed thinks unemployment near three percent is sustainable", Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a client note. The United States and China had already imposed tariffs on $50bn worth of each other's goods.

Economists had estimated 185,000 new jobs were created last month, according to a Bloomberg survey. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.


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