This is the lowest unemployment rate in the country since 1969.
If Republicans can make the case to voters that their policies are largely responsible for this increased pay and improved job prospects, they can maintain control of Congress on Election Day.
Last month marked the 97th consecutive month of this job growth. This suggests that the tax cuts that took effect this year are boosting job opportunities. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.2 to 62.7 percent. Hurricane Florence probably dented hiring in some sectors as well, which should reverse in the coming months. Hourly pay edged up 0.3 percent for the month, and is 2.8 percent higher than the same month previous year, a notch above inflation. Unemployment rates for women (down 0.1), Hispanics (up 0.1), Asians (down 0.1) and African-Americans (down 0.3) showed mixed changes. Across education levels, unemployment rose by 0.6 percent for those with less than a high school education and by 0.3 percent for those with partial education.
The goods-producing sector added 46,000 jobs in September, with construction employment increasing by 23,000, bringing its 2018 total to 214,000.
The September results were 25 percent below what economists had forecast.
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"No-one at the Fed thinks unemployment near three percent is sustainable", Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a client note. For close to two-thirds of the United States population, this is the lowest unemployment rate in their lifetime.
Analysts on average had expected a decline of unemployment to 3.8% in September, however, the statistics exceeded expectations. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened in August, reflecting an increase in imports and a decrease in exports. Job gains in July and August were revised up a combined 87,000 from the original reports. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
Of the added jobs, 1,000 were full time and 2,300 were part time.
Some measures showed the labor market may still have some room for further improvement.