U.S. nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 33,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 4.2% from 4.4% in the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
The department noted that the net effect of hurricanes Harvey and Irma was to reduce the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.
Analysts expected an increase of 100,000 jobs in the month, according to a consensus forecast from Econoday. The unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged at 4.4%.
The department revised its estimate of August's increase in nonfarm payrolls up to 169,000 from 156,000 and the change for July was revised down to a gain of 138,000 from 189,000.
Average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 12 cents to $26.55 in September. Average hourly earnings rose by 74 cents, or 2.9%, on a year-over-year basis.
The number of long-term unemployed, or those who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks, was essentially unchanged at 1.7 million and accounted for 25.5% of the unemployed. The labor force participation rate stood at 63.1%.
The number of involuntary part-time workers, or individuals who would prefer full-time employment, was 5.1 million in September.
Employment in food services and drinking places experienced a sharp decline due to the impact of the hurricanes, falling by 105,000 in the month. Manufacturing lost 1,000 jobs during the month.
Healthcare added 23,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing gained 22,000 jobs and professional and business services added 13,000 jobs. Employment in financial activities increased by 10,000 jobs.