WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs in September, and the nationwide unemployment rate stayed at 9.6 percent, according to the Department of Labor.
The government lost 159,000 jobs last month, due to further shedding of temporary Census jobs and job losses in local government, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Private businesses increased payrolls by 64,000 jobs. The private sector has added 850,000 jobs this year, which has failed to rev up the economic engine, still faltering from the 8 million jobs lost in 2008 and 2009.
In January 2009, the month President Obama took office, the economy lost 750,000 jobs. The economy lost 66,000 jobs in July and 57,000 jobs in August.
Nationwide, 14.8 million Americans were unemployed in September, or 9.6 percent of the workforce. The unemployment rate has hovered around 9.6 percent since May.
The number of workers jobless for six months or more is 6.1 million, down from 6.8 million in May. Of the total unemployed, 41.7 percent have been jobless for six months or more.
The number of involuntary part-time workers, or those employed part-time because their hours have been cut back or they have been unable to find a full-time job, increased by 620,000 in September to 9.5 million.
The bureau reported 1.2 million discouraged workers, or those not currently looking for work because they do not believe there are jobs available to them.
Jobs in the health care sector increased by 24,000 in September and the employment services industry by 28,000. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 34,000.
Manufacturing employment has been flat since May and jobs in construction fell by 21,000 in September.
Speaking at a small, family business in Maryland that makes bricks and concrete blocks, Obama congratulated the business for persisting in the tough economic environment and touted nine straight months of private-sector job growth nationwide.
Referring to the September job numbers, Obama said layoffs by state and local governments would have been even worse without federal aid to states. Obama complained that congressional Republicans “consistently opposed” the measure, a position he said “doesn’t make much sense.”
Obama said that in the 11 days since he signed the small-business jobs bill, which provides loans and tax cuts to small business, more than 2,000 business owners have received a billion dollars worth of loans.
He also said $15 billion in small-business lending is expected to come out of the bill’s support for state programs that encourage private sector lending to small businesses.
“The damage left by this recession is so deep that it’s going to take a long time to get out,” Obama said, but he added that he was “absolutely convinced” the country would emerge into “better and brighter days ahead.”