According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 142,000 jobs in August 2014, less than the lowest estimate.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.1% from 6.2% in July 2014.
The world’s largest economy has seen an average monthly increase in jobs of 212,000 over the past 12 months.
Part of the slow job growth is due to the loss of 17,000 food and beverage jobs as a result of a supermarket strike.
Thousands of employees of the Market Basket supermarket chain in the northeastern United States went on strike in July to protest the dismissal of their boss. The dispute was resolved late last week.
US markets did not react strongly to the news, as all three indices fell slightly lower in early morning auctions in New York.
There were some bright spots in the August job report: wage growth, a crucial sign of the strength of the US economy, was slightly off.
Average hourly income is now growing by 2.1% on an annual basis. The chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, previously pointed out that salaries are a decisive factor in the Fed’s analysis of the state of health in the US job market.
Employment in the automotive industry also fell less than expected as fewer workers were laid off to rebuild factories.
Job growth in professional and business services also continued to drive the recovery, with another 47,000 jobs added in August, reaching an annual number of 639,000.
Most analysts believe that the slow figure from August will give central bankers a pause as they consider when to end the Fed’s overwhelming support for the US economy.
The Fed meeting is scheduled for September 16-17.
Many have wondered whether the so-called “hawks” who support interest rate hikes could persuade other commission members to move forward with the bank’s plans to raise interest rates from their historically low levels of 0%.