U.S. Added Zero Jobs in August

Job growth appears to have petered out, with the U.S. creating no net jobs in August, the worst numbers since September. The Labor Department announced that nonfarm payrolls were unchanged last month, with unemployment holding steady at 9.1 percent. Analysts had expected payrolls to rise by 70,000 jobs. Private payrolls rose by 17,000 while government employment fell by the same number. In addition to the bad news about last month, the number of jobs added in July was revised down to 85,000 from 117,000. This is the second time payroll numbers have come in exactly at zero since records started being kept in 1939. The other time was February 1945. One factor in the weak forecast is the latest plunge in the consumer confidence index, which is at its lowest level since 2009. The strike at Verizon could have also stripped 45,000 jobs from the payroll report this month.