The U.S. added 156,000 jobs in September, an increase large enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates before year end. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 172,000 gain in new nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 5% from 4.9%, the government said Friday, mainly because more than 440,000 people joined the labor force in search of work. A broader measure of unemployment known as U6 was flat at 9.7%. Average hourly wages rose 0.2% to $25.79 last month. Hourly pay increased 2.6% from September 2015 to September 2016. Total employment gains for August and July, meanwhile, were 7,000 lower than previously reported. The government said 167,000 new jobs were created in August instead of 151,000. July's gain was trimmed to 252,000 from 275,000.
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