Just the Facts: Today's Dismal Jobs Report


Here's a roundup of the weak job numbers and response by Wall Street on Friday.

The government released its bleakest job report in nearly a year on Friday, sending Wall Street scrambling and igniting concerns over the possibility of a revived recession.

The unemployment rate stayed still at 9.1%, and no new jobs were created in August - marking the first time since 1945 there's been a net job change of zero.

The negative hiring news sent major indexes falling more than 2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell 253.31 points, or 2.2% to 11,240.26. The S&P 500 Index (INDEX: ^GSPC) tumbled 30.46 points, or 2.5% to 1,173.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 65.71 points, or 2.6% to 2,480.33.

The CBOE Volatility index, a metric used to measure the panic on Wall Street, increased 5.6%.

The private sector tacked on 17,000 jobs last month, the fewest since February 2010, and just a fraction of the 156,000 jobs added in July. The government sector continued to contract for the tenth month in a row by losing 17,000 jobs in August, slightly less than the 71,000 jobs lost in July.

Manufacturing payrolls fell for the first time since October 2010 by 3,000. The resilient health-care industry grew by 30,000 jobs last month.

For the day, financial and energy stocks were some of the hardest hit, with Bank of America (NYS: BAC) falling over 8%, JPMorgan (NYS: JPM) losing over 4%, and Chevron (NYS: CVX) slipping over 2.

All eyes will be on President Barack Obama next week, who is set to outline a long-term employment program during a Sept. 8 speech.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Tierney Plumb holds no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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