The U.S. added 187,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent in August, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The jobs report showed the labor market plateaued in August as the Federal Reserve considers another interest rate hike, reports The Hill. Economists had estimated that the U.S. would gain 170,000 jobs and maintain the July jobless rate of 3.5 percent.
While the jobless rate rose 0.3 percentage points in August, the labor force participation rate rose 0.2 percentage points after being largely flat since March.
The Fed has hiked interest rates to their highest level in more than two decades as part of its crusade to cool off an economy overrun by inflation a year ago.
Inflation ticked up slightly in July, according to Commerce Department’s personal consumption expenditures price index released Thursday, although it has fallen from its peak of 9.1 percent last summer.
As Fed officials consider another rate hike, they are looking for signs that the job market is slowing under the weight of past increases.
Job openings fell below 9 million for the first time in more than two years, and the rate of Americans quitting their jobs was the lowest it’s been since January 2021, according to the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey released last week.