The US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August, fueling concerns that the US is heading for another recession.
It was the first time since World War II that the economy had precisely net zero jobs created for a month.
Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 75,000 jobs created, an unusually low number considering the US is technically more than two years removed from the end of the last recession .
Stocks sold off sharply following the report, while bond prices rose and the US dollar fell nearly 2 percent against the Swiss franc.
Markets had been closely watching the August report in hopes that the employment picture would begin to show signs of recovery.
Stocks have slumped more than 10 percent since the beginning of May as concerns grew that the debt and deficit problem was beginning to overwhelm hopes of a recovery following the depths of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.
Private payrolls actually rose 17,000, but that was offset by continued shrinkage in government. The number of people unemployed remained unchanged at 14 million.
It was a dismal way to kick off the Labor Day weekend when Americans are supposed to be celebrating work, not bemoaning the lack of it.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page