WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August and many fewer in July than previously thought. Hiring has slowed from the start of the year and could complicate the Federal Reserve’s decision this month on whether to reduce its bond purchases – and, if so, by how much.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest in nearly five years. But it fell because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work reached its lowest point in 35 years.
The revised job growth for June and July shrank the gain for those months by a combined 74,000. July’s gain is now estimated at 104,000 – the fewest in more than a year and down from the previous estimate of 162,000. June’s figure was revised to 172,000 from 188,000.
Employers have added an average of just 148,000 jobs in the