The number of jobs added in the US economy finally came close to consensus.
Job Picture Brightens with August Hiring
The U.S. job market brightened modestly in August as employers added 144,000 workers to payrolls and weak hiring tallies for the two prior months were revised up, the Labor Department said on Friday. With the uneven jobs recovery a hot topic in the race for the White House, the department said the August unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent -- the lowest since October 2001 -- from 5.5 percent in July. The figures, though slightly short of Wall Street expectations, were strong enough that economists saw more U.S. interest-rate rises on the horizon.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Institute for Supply Management offered a mixed view of the service sector. ISM's index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 58.2 in August, the lowest level of the year, from 64.8 in July. However, a gauge of hiring plans rose, leaving unresolved whether the huge sector was poised for growth or stalled...
A month ago, the government said 32,000 jobs were created in July. It more than doubled that on Friday to 73,000 and said 96,000 jobs were created in June, up from 78,000.
Personally, though, I am not too impressed with the number. It's about the level necessary to keep the unemployment rate from rising over the long term. If anything, it reinforces the notion that the US economy has moderated.