U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected last month as supplemental unemployment benefits expired.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 194,000 workers in September as the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 500,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate to slip to 5.1%.
The jobs gains in August were revised up to 366,000 from 235,000.
"The labor market recovery continues to hit the brakes this month, but is far from completely stopping," said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. "Despite the soft September report, there's still a case for optimism in the coming months, as we are beginning to look in the rearview mirror, and the peak of the Delta wave’s repercussions is behind us."