WASHINGTON — The Labor Department said this morning that the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest in nearly five years.
But it fell in August because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work reached its lowest point in 35 years.
The jobless rate was 7.6 percent in June.
U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August and many fewer in July than previously thought. Hiring has slowed from the start of the year.
The revised job growth for June and July shrank the gain for those months by a combined 74,000. July’s gain is now estimated at 104,000 — the fewest in more than a year and down from the previous estimate of 162,000. June’s figure was revised to 172,000 from 188,000.
Employers have added an average of 148,000 jobs in the past three months — the weakest three-month stretch in a year. The average monthly job gain for 2013 so far is 180,000, almost identical to the 183,000 average for 2012.