US employers likely stepped up hiring in September

By The Associated Press | Posted - Oct. 3, 2014 at 1:40 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists predict today's government employment data could contain a potentially reassuring sign after a hiring slowdown in August.

A FactSet survey of economists finds they expect employers added 215,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate is expected to remain 6.1 percent.

In August, employers added just 142,000 jobs after topping 200,000 for six straight months. Even if the government reports that hiring was subpar for a second straight month, some economists say it wouldn't be cause for alarm because other economic indicators remain positive.

September job figures have often been skewed by seasonal quirks, such as students leaving summer jobs and teachers returning to work.

The figures will be studied by Federal Reserve policymakers to help determine whether the economy is returning to full health, possibly clearing the way for an increase in the benchmark short-term interest rate.

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The Associated Press

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