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U.S. adds fewer jobs than expected in August

by Loretta Clodfelter

The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below the average monthly gain of 204,000 jobs during the previous 12 months. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent for the third consecutive month.

The pace of job growth in August was a sharp slowdown from the previous months and below economists’ forecast consensus of 180,000 jobs. In July, 275,000 jobs were added (revised up from 255,000), and 271,000 jobs were added in June (revised down from 292,000).

With a lower-than-expected jobs figure, many are predicting the Federal Open Market Committee will not raise the target federal funds rate at its meeting later this month.

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