September unemployment rate falls to 3.5%, a 50-year low, as payrolls rise by 136,000

By Jeff Cox

October 4, 2019

Unemployment hit a fresh 50-year low in September even though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 136,000 as the economy nears full employment, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The jobless rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 3.5%, matching a level it last saw in December 1969. A more encompassing measure that includes discouraged workers and the underemployed also fell, declining 0.3 percent points to 6.9%, matching its lowest in nearly 19 years and just off the all-time low of 6.8%.

Stocks opened higher following the jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 150 points.

Get the market reaction here.

Also, the jobless rate for Hispanics also hit a new record low, while the level for African Americans maintained its lowest ever.

At the same time, the economy saw another sluggish month of growth. The nonfarm payrolls count missed the 145,000 estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones; the expectation on the jobless rate was to hold steady at 3.7%.

Read more at CNBC.

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