The U.S. economy created 263,000 nonfarm jobs in September, while the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage point from the previous month to 3.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
Growth in nonfarm payrolls exceeded the market consensus of an increase of 250,000.
The department revised downward the nonfarm payrolls growth reported for July from 526,000 to 537,000. That for August remained unchanged at 315,000.
In September, private industry generated 288,000 jobs, and the government shed 25,000 jobs.
Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, which added 83,000 jobs. Employment in health care also rose by 60,000 and has returned to its February 2020 level, just before the coronavirus pandemic began accelerating in the country, according to the department.
Hourly pay in the private sector, a key factor behind consumer spending, averaged $32.46, up from $32.36 the previous month.