The Labor Department announced Friday that the United States' unemployment rate hit a 50-year low in September, dropping by 0.2% to 3.5% and matching a level last seen in December 1969.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 136,000, which was lower than the estimated number of 145,000 which came from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. Still, the steady job growth has led to the lowest jobless rate for Hispanics in U.S. history at 3.9% and the level for African Americans maintained its lowest ever.
While the jobless rate has declined, economists remain wary. 2019 has seen a marked slowdown in job creation. The average to date for 2019 is 161,000, compared with 223,000 for the same period in 2018.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment that can be taken from this month's jobs report is the stall of average hourly earnings. Wages have risen by 2.9% year-over-year from September 2018-September 2019, the lowest increase since July 2018.
Overall, healthcare’s 39,000 new jobs set the pace for the month, while professional and business services increased by 34,000, though the industry’s 35,000 per month average is below the 47,000 in 2018.
Government jobs continued to rise, increasing by 22,000 though unlike in August the cause was not Census hiring, which rose by just 1,000. The average work week was little changed at 34.4 hours.
Job growth skewed toward full time, which saw its ranks rise by 305,000, while part-time positions increased by 121,000.
To read the full jobs report for September 2019, click here.