A survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) shows that only one-fifth of economists say that their companies have hired additional employees in the last three months, down from one-third in July. An indicator of job gains in the survey had also fallen to its lowest point since October 2012.

"The U.S. economy appears to be slowing, and respondents expect still slower growth over the next 12 months," Constance Hunter, the president of NABE said. The NABE survey was conducted based on responses from 101 economists at companies and trade associations between Sept. 26 and Oct. 14.

The economy this year, according to official government statistics, has added 161,000 jobs a month on average, in comparison to last year's rate of 223,000.

The economists in the report pointed out the ongoing U.S.-China trade war as a problem for their companies. Approximately 35% of the economists surveyed said that President Trump's tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods from China have hurt their business.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration and the Chinese government agreed to a partial "phase one" deal, which would suspend the increase of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for the Chinese buying $40 to $50 billion of American agricultural products.

Although Trump believes that the trade war would ultimately bring back manufacturing to U.S. shores, a manufacturing survey by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) had its worst reading in a decade last month.

Trump has pushed for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates as a way to stimulate the economy, after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell lowered rates for the first time in July, the first time since 2008.

The federal government is also considering a payroll tax cut but Trump has said that "we don't need it."