The United States economy added 148,000 jobs in September, lower than analysts had predicted.
The US Department of Labour said the unemployment rate fell to 7.2%, down from 7.3% in August.
The release of the figures was delayed by the partial shutdown of the US government earlier this month.
Economists had predicted 180,000 job gains for September, and the lower-than-expected figure could raise fears the US economic recovery is losing momentum.
US stocks rose and the NZ dollar fell because investors think the Federal Reserve will keep its easy money policy intact into 2014, pumping $85 billion a month into the economy.