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The Unemployment Rate Fell Further in September

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the unemployment rate continued to fall in September of 2018. Unemployment in September was 3.7 percent (down from 3.9 percent in August), which President Donald Trump was quick to point out is the lowest rate recorded since 1969. The unemployment rates for adult women and white workers declined, while the rates for adult men, teenagers, African Americans, and Hispanics were essentially unchanged in September.

The economy added 134,000 jobs in September, according to the BLS, which fell slightly short of expectations and recent trends; economists have theorized that Hurricane Florence may have dampened hiring in some industries. The professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing industries all added jobs in September.

In keeping with a long-standing trend of disappointing wage growth, average hourly earnings for private-sector, non-farm workers rose by only 8 cents an hour in September, to $27.24. Average hourly earnings have increased by only 2.8 percent (or 73 cents) since September of 2017. (Due to inflation, real wage growth has been close to zero.)