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The number of workers on U.S. payrolls declined last month for the first time since 2010, reflecting major disruptions from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to Labor Department figures released Friday. The jobless rate fell to a new 16-year-low while wage gains accelerated.

Highlights of Employment

Payrolls fell 33,000 — a stark contrast from the estimated increase of 80,000 — after a 169,000 advance. Revisions subtracted a combined 38,000 in July and August. The unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey of households, dropped to 4.2% from 4.4%; the estimate was 4.4%. That is the lowest rate since February 2001.

Average hourly earnings rose by 0.5% month over month — the estimate was an increase of 0.3% —


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