The US economy created lower-than-expected jobs in September, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose, according to new government figures.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 156,000 new jobs last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Economists had predicted between 170,000 and 176,000 new jobs for September.
The monthly average job growth of 178,000 in 2016 is significantly lower than the 229,000 per month created in 2015.
The unemployment rate also rose slightly, from 4.9 to 5 percent, and the number of unemployed people was at 7.9 million, reflecting a small increase.
The overall number of people unemployed for less than a month increased by 284,000 to 2.6 million during September.
The labor participation rate, increased to 62.9 percent, from 62.8 percent, which is near the lowest level in more than three decades.
Americans continue to cite the economy and dissatisfaction with the US government as the most important problems facing their country, according to a poll released last month.
The monthly Gallup survey conducted September 7-11, shows that 25 percent of respondents list the US economy and unemployment as the biggest challenge confronted by the nation.
Dissatisfaction with the government was named the second biggest problem, with 11 percent of Americans naming it as the leading source of concern.
A Pew Research Center survey, conducted September 1-4, shows that American voters have little confidence in either major party presidential candidate when it comes to their ability to help American workers prepare to compete in today’s economy.
According to the survey, 37 percent of registered voters say the economy will be the most important issue for them in their vote for president.
When asked what kind of job Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would do when it comes to helping Americans get the skills and training they need to get a well-paying job, 47 percent said Trump would do a poor job.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ratings are similar, with 42 percent saying she would do a poor job dealing with this issue.