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US unemployment falls to 48-year low in September

Workers at a construction site in Revere

According to a Reuters survey of economists, NFPs nonfarm likely increased by 185,000 in September after surging 201,000 in August.

The job growth, though, might have been affected by Hurricane Florence, but the Labor Department isn't able to quantify the storm's impact. Many economists expect pay growth to accelerate in coming months.

Amy Glaser, a senior vice president at staffing agency Adecco, told The New York Times after Friday's jobs report release that some seasonal employers are moving up their hiring timelines, easing job requirements and giving workers more flexibility over schedules to attract more applicants.

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.

The historically low unemployment rate and relatively weak job growth number might indicate that employers are having an increasingly hard time adding positions because of the availability of workers.

People attend the Executive Branch Job Fair hosted by the Conservative Partnership Institute at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2018. "We'll see in earnings season how much of an impact it will have on profit markets as labor is a business's biggest cost".

The total number of monthly jobs was a disappointment with only 134,000 jobs added in September 2018.

The last time the American job market was this strong, astronauts were still going to the moon.

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. Bond yields spiked following the jobs report, with the benchmark 10-Year Treasury hitting 3.24 percent - its highest level in more than seven years.

That storm struck North and SC in mid-September and closed thousands of businesses. It showed 299,000 people reported staying at home in September because of bad weather.

Average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $27.24, lowering the annual gain to 2.8 percent from a nine-year high of 2.9 percent in August.

So far, job growth has been surprisingly strong this year despite the hurdles, averaging about 200,000 a month, up from 182,000 in 2017.

The trade gap continues to widen despite the Trump administration's "America First" policies, which have led to a bitter trade war between the United States and China. Many forecasters predict it will decline even more in the months to come.

That run has added almost 20 million people to the nation's payrolls since the Great Recession, which cost almost 9 million their jobs.

The data showed manufacturing jobs continuing to multiply in September, with 18,000 added, reflecting a gain in durable goods industries. And Americans with only a high school diploma recorded their best unemployment rate since 2001.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the overall trade deficit swelling to US$53.5 billion in August.