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US job growth slows in August

US employment growth slowed more than expected in August to 151,000, probably ruling out an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month.

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US job growth slows in August

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There was a pause in US employment growth in August.

It slowed more than expected after two straight months of very robust increases, with a total of 546,000 jobs created in June and July.

Employers took on 151,000 new workers last month. The July total was revised up to 275,000.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent of the working population as more people looked for work.

Wage gains also moderated. Average hourly earnings increased three cents or 0.1 percent in August after a solid 0.3 percent rise in July.

With the labour market near full employment a slowdown in job growth is normal. In addition the US economy’s recovery from the 2007-09 recession is inevitably showing signs of losing steam

The mixed data pretty much rules out the Federal Reserve putting up the cost of borrowing in the US this month.

December is the next time they could roll out an interest rate hike.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that the case for that “has strengthened in recent months”.