Job Growth Slows; U.S. Creates 151,000 Jobs in August

A New York Labor Department office is viewed in Manhattan on March 6, 2015 in New York City.  (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A New York Labor Department office is viewed in Manhattan on March 6, 2015 in New York City. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Job growth slowed back to a moderate pace in August, and the nation’s unemployment rate held at 4.9% for the third straight month, the government said Friday.

The latest jobs report from the Labor Department was largely ho-hum and unlikely to change the prospects for an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this month, or to give a boost to either presidential candidate with election day two months away.

Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen last week seemed to be preparing markets for the central bank’s first rate increase since December, citing the nation’s “continued solid performance” in the labor market. Fed policymakers are scheduled to meet Sept. 20-21.

Friday’s report showed employers added 151,000 jobs last month, just marginally lower than the 180,000 that analysts were expecting on average. Manufacturing and construction industries shed jobs, but every major service sector, led by restaurant businesses¬†as well as government,¬†added to their payrolls last month, albeit at a weaker rate.

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