US added 336,000 jobs in September

The U.S. added a whopping 336,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate stayed even at 3.8 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

The September jobs report far exceeded expectations after several months of slowing employment gains.

Economists projected the U.S. to have added 170,000 jobs last month, according to consensus estimates, and knock the jobless rate down to 3.7 percent. The U.S instead added nearly twice that number without making a dent in the unemployment rate.

The US also added 119,000 more jobs than previously reported in July and August, according to revisions released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The surprisingly strong September jobs report followed several months of shrinking job gains, rising unemployment and other signs of an economic slowdown.

While the September jobs surge may be good news for Americans wary of a recession, it poses a new challenge for the Federal Reserve as it plots the next steps in its battle against inflation.

Fed officials are set to meet twice more before the end of the year and are expected to raise interest rates one more time before the end of the year.

The Fed decision to hold off on a hike last month came as the labor market appeared much weaker than the September jobs report showed.

“The U.S. labor market remains very strong as policy-makers continue to tiptoe along the tightening tightrope hoping for a soft landing,” said Eric Merlis, managing director and co-head of global markets at Citizens Bank.

“Despite the rise in long-term bond yields, this report makes another tightening this year more likely. This report will give the Fed a reason to continue to signal that rates will remain higher for longer and we continue to advise our clients on strategies to mitigate their exposure and risk.”

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