Modest increase to US job figures

US employers added a modest 128,000 jobs in August, the latest sign that while the economy is still expanding, the rate of growth has slowed.

The US Labor Department said the new additions to the payroll pulled the unemployment rate down to 4.7% last month from the 4.8% seen in July.

Analysts welcomed the figures, saying they gave more reason for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates on hold.

Last month, the Fed kept rates at 5.25% saying economic growth was now slowing.

This brought to an end almost two years of rate rises as the Fed sought to calm US economic growth and head off inflationary pressure.

"If there ever was an employment report that hit the sweet spot, this is it," said economist Robert Brusca.

"The report is good and should be deemed good for both bonds and stocks."

The US economy needs to create 125,000 to 150,000 jobs each month to keep up with the growth in the working population.

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