• Unemployment Ticks Up as Job Growth Slows

    Unemployment Ticks Up as Job Growth Slows

    Investors initially celebrated Friday’s August U.S. employment data showing moderate job growth of 315,000 as the jobless rate ticked up to 3.7% from July’s 3.5% by sending stock prices up. Analysts first took the jobs data as a sign that the Federal Reserve may not need to be as persistent with rate hikes as it indicated a week earlier.

    However, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials both finished down 1.1% for the day, with the Nasdaq 1.3% lower as investors were apparently discouraged by news regarding the suspension of some natural gas shipments from Russia, according to The Wall Street Journal and other outlets.

    The Labor Department reported notable job gains in August came from professional and business services, health care and retail trade.

    The unemployment rate remains historically low, with layoffs muted across most industries, though Fed plans to boost interest rates in its inflation-fighting efforts could create higher unemployment and other pain, according to some analysts.