The US economy saw strong jobs growth in July, helped by a wave of hiring in the hospitality industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 209,000 jobs were created in July which was more than economists had been expecting.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, the lowest level since 2001.
Employment in food services and drinking places rose 53,000 – that sector has now added 313,000 jobs so far this year.
Employment in health care and professional and business services also saw strong growth.
Wage growth continued to be sluggish in July, remaining unchanged at a 2.5% annual growth rate.
President Donald Trump welcomed the report. In a tweet he said: “Excellent jobs numbers just released – and I have only just begun.”
Economists say that policy makers at the US Federal Reserve are keeping a close eye on wage growth when considering whether to raise interest rates.
“This should keep the chances of a December rate rise alive. The next rate rise really boils down to whether inflation picks up and this requires stronger wage growth,” said Luke Bartholomew, a strategist at Aberdeen Asset Management.
“While far from spectacular, especially given the further fall in unemployment, today’s wage numbers are just about enough for now,” he added.