Employers added 130,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate remains stable at 3.7%.
The economy received jobs for 107 consecutive months, but the pace of hiring has slowed recently. The United States added an average of 158,000 jobs a month this year, compared to 223,000 in 2018.
The hiring got a big boost before the U.S. census next year, as the government hired 25,000 temporary staff to help nationally project.
Salaries have increased by a healthy 3.2% over the last year. It was a little better than economists had expected, and could help keep inflation low.
The African-American unemployment rate dropped dramatically to 5.5% from 6%. This was a record low for data collected since 1
Spain's unemployment dropped to 4.2% from 4.5%. The race-based unemployment rate is sometimes volatile.
Cracks begin to show
Despite the overall picture of solid employment, weaknesses begin to show.
"It may be partly due to the difficulty in finding workers with the right skills, with unemployment remaining only 3.7%," said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING. "However, given the cautious international background and uncertainty about trade, businesses may be increasingly cautious about hiring."
The escalating trade war between the United States and China has introduced uncertainty in hiring in sectors that are experiencing the effects of tariffs, such as manufacturing.
Only 3,000 jobs were added to the sector last month, below expectations – half of this year's average of 6,000 and less than a quarter compared to July figures. In 2018, job growth averaged 22,000 per month.
"The trade war does not push the economy over a cliff and recessionary clouds do not darken the sky, but the prospect remains questionable as China's headwinds on tariffs have not yet reached full power," said Chris Rupki,
Can the Fed save the day?
A fourth percent reduction in the 18 September meeting point is expected to be 94% .