U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 134k jobs last month, the fewest in a year, as the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors shed employment. Data for July and August were revised to show 87k more jobs added than previously reported.

The market had forecast payrolls increasing by 185k jobs in September and the unemployment rate falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8%.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that the economy's outlook was "remarkably positive" and he believed it was on the cusp of a "historically rare" era of ultra-low unemployment and tame inflation.

The U.S. central bank raised rates last week for the third time this year and removed the reference in its post-meeting statement to monetary policy remaining "accommodative."

The Labor Department said it was possible that Hurricane Florence, which lashed South and North Carolina in mid-September, could have affected employment in some industries. It said it was impossible to quantify the net effect on employment.

The drop of two-tenths of a percentage point in the unemployment rate from 3.9% in August pushed it to levels last seen in December 1969 and left it near the Fed's forecast of 3.7% by the end of this year.

Average hourly earnings increased eight cents, or 0.3%, in September after rising 0.3% in the prior month. With September's increase below the 0.5% gain notched during the same period last year, that lowered the annual increase in wages to 2.8% from 2.9% in August, which was the biggest rise in more than nine years.

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