The economy created a modest 134,000 new jobs in September, but it was enough to push the U.S. unemployment rate down to a 49-year low of 3.7%.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 168,000 nonfarm jobs. The average hourly wage paid to American workers rose 0.3% to $27.24 an hour, the Labor Department said Friday. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains slowed to 2.8% from a nine-year high of 2.9%. Hours worked each week was flat at 34.5 hours.
Employment gains for August and July were revised up by a combined 87,000. The government said 270,000 new jobs were created in August instead of 201,000. July's gain was raised to 165,000 from 147,000.