The US economy added 156,000 jobs in August, fewer than expected, while the unemployment rate ticked up from a 16-year low to 4.4%.
Economists had forecast that the pace of job creation in America slowed last month, to a net total of 180,000 nonfarm payrolls, according to Bloomberg. Job gains in July were revised lower.
Wage growth was expected to pick up slightly but remain sluggish. That's partly because baby boomers are retiring and being replaced by young workers with low-paying jobs, but it's still puzzling since the unemployment rate is so low.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% month-on-month, softer than expected, and 2.5% year-on-year, both weaker than expected.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that Hurricane Harvey had "no discernible effect" on the jobs numbers because it conducted the survey for its report before the storm.