The summer slowdown in the jobs market extended into September, raising doubts over whether the Fed can hike interest rates this year. Fred Katayama reports.
A stunningly weak jobs report - again. U.S. employers added just 142,000 jobs in September. That's far fewer than expected and even less than the low number in August. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent. The report showed signs of slack in the labor market that the Federal Reserve fears. Jobs gains in July and August were sharply revised downward. The share of people who are working or actively looking for jobs fell. And average hourly earnings dipped from August The sectors losing the most jobs: mining, which has been hit hard by the drop in commodities prices, manufacturing which has been slammed by the strong dollar, and wholesale trade. The biggest gainers: healthcare, especially hospitals, professional business services, and retailers such as auto dealers. The report suggests the economy slowed down over the summer. And it raises doubts over whether the Fed can hike interest rates this year as many economists had hoped. Barclays' Michael Gapen: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL GAPEN, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, BARCLAYS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You need to see a couple months evidence the economy is recovering. So we moved our call out into March and we think FOMC officials will be forced to do the same, that a combination of soft manufacturing, the slowing trend in payroll growth and weak inflation will bump them off of a December rate." The Fed next meets October 27-28.