The U.S. created a modest 148,000 jobs in September and the number of people hired in August was higher than previously indicated, according to data released Tuesday.The nation’s unemployment rate dropped in September to 7.2% from 7.3%, as more people found work, marking the lowest jobless rate since November 2008, according to figures released today by the Labor Department.
Economists surveyed had forecast a 185,000 gain in new jobs.
Though the gain was below consensus expectations, stocks rose in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for example, increased more than 100 points.
The long-delayed September employment report, which was supposed to be released almost three weeks ago, pointed to an economy that was growing at a modest if choppy pace toward the end of summer. Yet the closure of the federal government in the first half of October rattled businesses and consumers and might have put a damper on hiring intentions for the rest of the year.