U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department, signaling a slowdown in the pace of job growth.

Forecasters surveyed by the Reuters news service had predicted job gains of around 158,000.

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

The jobs total would have been lower without the addition of 25,000 temporary census jobs. Job gains for the two previous months were revised downward by a total of 20,000.

Notes: All values are seasonally adjusted. In the bar chart, figures for the two most recent months are preliminary and may be revised later.

The report will be studied closely by forecasters trying to gauge the strength of the U.S. economy, which has been sending mixed signals in recent days.

Surveys this week from the Institute for Supply Management painted starkly different pictures of the manufacturing sector, which has been battered by the U.S. trade war with China, and the much larger services side of the economy, which continues to show strong growth.

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