Job growth in the United States cooled in October, according to government data released Friday, in part dragged down by an auto workers strike.
The world’s biggest economy added 150,000 jobs last month, less than analysts expected and down from a revised 297,000 in September, the Labor Department said.
The unemployment rate edged up to 3.9 percent, the report added.
This is likely seen as good news for policymakers, given concerns that a too-hot labor market could keep inflation elevated.
The job market has been unexpectedly resilient over the past year, even as the central bank lifted interest rates rapidly to combat inflation –- a move that typically sees hiring cool and unemployment edge up.
But robust job and wage growth has allowed consumers to continue spending even as inflation came down, buoying economic growth.
This has lifted hopes that the United States can avoid a recession despite higher interest rates.
Average hourly earnings in October rose 0.2 percent, inching down from the month before, Labor Department data showed.
“Employment in manufacturing decreased by 35,000 in October, reflecting a decline of 33,000 in motor vehicles and parts that was largely due to strike activity,” said the department.