Unemployment rate declines slightly in September

By WEEK Producer

Credit: MGN online

Unemployment rate declines slightly in September

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM CDT

In spite of the looming partial government shutdown, hiring in September was strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The labor department said the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 percent, down from 7.3 percent in August, reaching a nearly a five-year low.

The U.S. economy added just 148,000 jobs in September, suggesting employers may have held back hiring in anticipation of the partial government shutdown, which began October 1.

The economy added an average of 143,000 jobs a month from July through September, down from April through June when 182,000 jobs were added.

The September jobs report was delayed two-and-a half weeks because of the partial government shutdown. October's job gains will likely reflect the effect of the temporary shutdown. However, that would likely be a temporary decline.