The number of unemployed Americans remained static at seven million in September.
The economy shed some 199,000 jobs over the month, the biggest drop since a 209,000 fall a year ago. Job cuts occurred chiefly in the manufacturing sector. Employment also shrank in the services, wholesale and retail trade sectors.
The unemployment rate stood at 4.5% from April through July of this year, and was 3.9% a year ago. Analysts had anticipated that the figure would edge up to 5% this month.
According to the Department of Labor, the events of September had little impact on the data. Although many businesses shut down for one or more days, this is not reflected in the survey numbers, since any person who is paid for any work done during month is considered employed.