WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economy added fewer jobs in September than market expectations despite a tickdown of the unemployment rate, and experts believed that the tepid employment report may delay the Federal Reserve's plan to taper off its massive bond-buying program, the so-called QE3.
The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in September, fewer than market forecasts, while the unemployment rate edged down to 7.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous month. The unemployment rate in September was the lowest level since November 2008, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
The release of the September jobs report has been postponed for about two weeks because of the 16-day government shutdown starting on Oct. 1.
The private sector added 126,000 jobs prior to the government shutdown, and the payroll in governments of different levels rose by 22,000, the monthly jobs report showed.
The September jobs growth of 148,000 was slower than the previous 12 month average of 185,000 per month, said Elise Gould, an expert at the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.
The total number of unemployed in the country was largely unchanged at 11.3 million in September. The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks, ticked down to 4.1 million last month from 4.3 million in August, according to the report.
The change in newly added jobs for July was revised from 104, 000 to 89,000, and the change for August was revised from 169,000 to 193,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 9,000 more than previously reported.
Professional and business services, retail trade, construction, transportation and warehousing were among the sectors that announced big gains in job creation last month. Employment also trended up in manufacturing and mining. But employment in finance, leisure and hospitality edged down in September, noted the report.
The participation rate, a barometer of the active portion of an economy's labor force, stayed at 63.2 percent in September, a 35- year low, showed the report.
"This report demonstrates once again that we are far from a full recovery. Also, it's important to remember that the numbers released today are from September and in no way reflect the government shutdown in October, except for the fact that the release was delayed," noted Gould.
The lingering U.S. fiscal uncertainty brought by the short-term fiscal deal to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling may delay the Fed's plan to taper off the QE3 for a couple of months, Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said on Monday.
Wrapping up weeks of bitter fiscal fight, U.S. Congress on Oct. 16 passed a legislation to end the government shutdown and raise the government's debt limit. The temporary deal would lift the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, and fund the government through Jan. 15, which does not resolve the fundamental divide between Republicans and Democrats on spending and deficits.
"I think we need a couple of good labor reports and evidence of increasing growth" before starting to scale back the QE3, Evans stressed.
U.S. stocks rose after the release of the report on the expectation that the Fed will not hurry to reduce its monetary stimulus efforts in coming months. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index on Tuesday refreshed its all-time high for four trading sessions in a row.