Still, hiring was strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the rate fell to 7.2 percent, down from 7.3 percent in August and nearly a five-year low.
Black unemployment ticked down slightly from 13.0 to 12.9 percent. The African-American teen unemployment rate also fell to 35.1 percent.
The economy has added an average of 143,000 jobs a month from July through September, down from 182,000 from April through June.
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