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The US economy saw an addition of 336,000 jobs in September, surpassing expectations and signaling the resilience of the employment sector amid economic challenges.
The Labor Department released figures on Friday, highlighting that September’s robust hiring outpaced the previously reported 227,000 jobs in August, with a revised increase. This brings the three-month average to a solid 266,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate holds steady at 3.8%.
Despite the Federal Reserve’s rapid interest rate hikes aiming to curb high inflation, the job market continued to flourish, with consumer spending keeping the economy buoyant.
According to analysts, the consistency in job market strength suggests that even a moderate slowdown would still maintain it at commendable levels. Data indicates a reluctance among companies to lay off employees, particularly after staffing challenges after the 2020 pandemic recession. Furthermore, the Institute for Supply Management’s surveys reveal continuous job additions in both manufacturing and service sectors in September.
This growth occurs even as the economy grapples with long-term interest rate hikes, escalating energy prices, potential government shutdown threats, and other challenges.
The Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate currently sits around a 22-year peak of approximately 5.4% after 11 consecutive hikes since March 2022. While some Fed officials emphasize the importance of reaching their 2% inflation target, there is also a cautious approach to ensure that borrowing rates don’t escalate to recession-triggering levels.