In a sign of continued economic stamina, payrolls grew by 336,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said on Friday. The increase, almost double economists’ expectations, serves as a confirmation of the labor market’s vitality and the overall hardiness of an economy facing challenges from a variety of forces.
The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, unchanged from August.
September was the 33rd consecutive month of job growth. Hiring figures for July and August were revised upward, with employers adding 119,000 more jobs to the labor market than previously recorded. But wage gains were cooler than expected, with average hourly earnings rising 0.2 percent from the previous month and 4.2 percent from September 2022.
Federal Reserve policymakers have tried to rein in both wages and prices by pulling up interest rates. Some financial analysts believe that continued resilience in wage gains and job growth could hasten a downturn by prompting the Fed to raise borrowing costs further during its next meeting in early November.
The unemployment rate has been below 4 percent since December 2021, a stretch not achieved since the late 1960s.
“This is an economy on fire,” said Samuel Rines, an economist and the managing director of Corbu, a financial research firm.
While the trend of gains remains impressive, experts warn against concluding too much from one month’s data. September figures frequently feature quirks from seasonal adjustments, as teachers return to work and summer workers in leisure and hospitality leave their jobs.