WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- The U.S. economy generated a larger-than-expected 201,000 jobs in August, government data showed Friday, making it increasingly likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.
The unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month at 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said.
Growth in nonfarm payrolls was larger than the market consensus of an increase of 191,000.
The department revised downward the nonfarm payroll growth reported for June from 248,000 to 208,000, while the July figure was downgraded from 157,000 to 147,000.
In August, private industry generated 204,000 jobs, while the government shed 3,000 jobs, according to the department.
Payrolls in the goods-producing sector rose by 26,000, while the private service sector added 178,000 jobs.
Hourly pay in the private sector, a key factor behind consumer spending, averaged $27.16, up from $27.06 the previous month.