WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.7 per cent in September, the lowest level since December 1969, as the longest streak of hiring on record has put millions of Americans back to work since the Great Recession.

The Labor Department says employers added just 134,000 jobs, the fewest in a year, though that figure was likely lowered by Hurricane Florence. The storm struck North and South Carolina in the middle of September and closed thousands of businesses. A category that includes restaurants, hotels and casinos lost jobs for the first time since last September, when Hurricane Harvey had a similar effect.

Even with unemployment at a historic low, average hourly pay increased just 2.8 per cent from a year earlier, one tick below the yearly gain in August.

Canada’s national unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent in September. Here are the jobless rates last month by province (numbers from the previous month in brackets):

— Newfoundland and Labrador per cent 13.6 (14.4)

— Prince Edward Island 8.7 (9.3)

— Nova Scotia 7.8 (8.4)

— New Brunswick 7.9 (8.3)

— Quebec 5.3 (5.6)

— Ontario 5.9 (5.7)

— Manitoba 5.8 (5.8)

— Saskatchewan 6.4 (6.7)

— Alberta 7.0 (6.7)

— British Columbia 4.2 (5.3)

© 2018 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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