A wave of government layoffs last month outpaced weak hiring in the private sector, pushing down US payrolls by a net total of 95,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held at 9.6%, says the Labor Department. The jobless rate has now topped 9.5% for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s.
The private sector added 64,000 jobs last month, the weakest showing since June. Local governments cut 76,000 jobs, most of them in education; that's the largest cut by local governments in 28 years. September also saw the end to 77,000 temporary census jobs. Nearly 14.8 million people were unemployed last month.