The US economy added 136,000 new jobs in September according to a government report released on Friday. The figure is below expectations of 150,000 jobs, marking the slowest pace of growth in four months and adding to fears of a looming recession.
- 136,000 new jobs were added in September, below expectations of 150,000.
- Job growth is at the lowest pace of growth in four months, with reduced demand for employment from increasingly cautious businesses.
- The employment figures for August and July were revised upward by 45,000 in total, and unemployment dropped to 3.5% according to a separate report.
Mixed economic data released on Friday indicates a drop in the already low unemployment rate, with 275,000 fewer unemployed people in September compared to the month before, marking the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. On the other hand, hiring has slowed, and the increase in wages over the last 12 months dropped from 3.2% to 2.9%, while average hourly earnings in September were relatively flat following an 11 cent increase the month before.
Manufacturing has weakened due to the impact of the trade war, and most of the hiring last month was in services, with education and healthcare positions adding 40,000. The government added 22,000 positions, although the number of census hires was below expectations.
Consumer spending has reportedly held up well despite headwinds from other areas of the economy, and opinions are now mixed on the likelihood of a recession.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 4, 2019
Gold prices are down on the day. Spot gold last traded at $1,503.98/oz, down -0.21% with a high of $1,510.23/oz and a low of $1,497.30/oz in the face of mixed data that leaves unanswered questions regarding the health of the economy as the trade war continues.