As expected, job losses continued through August, the third month in a row, causing the unemployment rate to rise to 9.6 percent, one-tenth higher than it was the previous two months. But the total loss of 54,000 non-farm jobs was less than anticipated, which caused a jump in stock futures before the opening of U.S. markets. (According to a Dow Jones survey, economists expected job losses to be more than double that.) The private sector once again actually added jobs, 67,000 in total, but it wasn't enough to offset the loss of 121,000 government workers — most of whom worked for the census, but some of whom merely worked for cash-strapped state and local governments.
Photo: David Goldman/AP