Hiring slows as employers add modest 151,000 jobs

WASHINGTON — Hiring downshifted last month as U.S. employers added a modest 151,000 jobs, about half the blockbuster gains of the two previous months.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained 4.9 percent for the third straight month.

The figures are far below July's gain of 275,000 jobs, the most in eight months, and June's increase of 271,000. Still, they are enough to lower the jobless rate over time.

Job gains slowed across most major industries, and employers cut workers in manufacturing, construction and mining.

The weaker pace may make it less likely that the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates at its next meeting Sept. 20-21.

Hourly wages barely increased in August and have risen just 2.4 percent in the past year, slightly lower than the previous month's pace.