The economy of the U.S. delivered job growth considered moderate during September while wages increased suggesting the labor market remains steady as the Federal Reserve Bank moves nearer to increasing interest rates and the political campaign season is entering the final stretch.
Employment outside farms increased by 156,000 jobs during September, which represented the smallest increase since last May, said the Labor Department on Friday.
The rate of unemployment that comes from a separate survey increased one tenth of one percent to 5%.
The increase in unemployment reflected signs that were encouraging as the overall size of the labor force grew as Americans who were discouraged re-entered the arena of searching for work.
Economists were expecting over 170,000 new jobs with an unemployment rate of 4.9%.
The government revised figures for both July and August though the outlook overall did not change that much. In August 167,000 new jobs were added, which was up from the 151,000 previously reported. In July 252,000 new jobs were created instead of the previously recorded 275,000.
At the same time, growth in wages was up last month. Workers in the private sector earned an average per hour of $25.79 during September, which was an increase of 6 cents from August.
Paychecks averaged an increase of 2.6% over the same month on year ago.
The report gives one final big snapshot of the U.S. economy prior to the election in November. Steady growth in jobs had increased the approval rating for Barack Obama and has been discussed by Hillary Clinton, as she attempts to convince voters to maintain a Democrat in the White House.
Donald Trump the Republican presidential nominee has pointed to a high rate of underemployment and modest gains in the economy amongst workers in the blue collar sector in his argument for change.
The most recent figures are more apt to weigh on Fed officials, who suggested they are apt to raise the interest rates once more time before the end of 2016.
The Fed has two more meetings in 2016 and has looked for signs the labor market has tightened and strong enough so it can withstand higher rates.
Amongst the different measure the bank looks at is the rate of unemployment. The rate the Fed projects will be the average of the long run is between 4.7% and 5%, which is where the rate has been for the past few months.