Job growth stalled in the U.S. economy in August, leaving the unemployment rate at a relatively high 9.1 percent.
Friday's report from the Labor Department shows no net gain of jobs in August, compared to an estimated net gain of 85,000 in July. Most economists had predicted the figures would show at least some gains in the job market. The August report is the weakest in nearly a year.
Employment rose in health care, fell in government, and was hurt by a strike at a major phone company.
Employers are reluctant to hire because of worries that painfully slow U.S. economic growth will hurt their sales and profits. Economic growth has been hurt by weakness in the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity. Consumers worried about their jobs and facing high prices for energy and food lack the confidence in the future needed to make major purchases.
U.S. President Barack Obama will introduce a plan to stimulate the national economy and create jobs in a speech before a joint session of Congress next Thursday.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.