A wave of government layoffs in September outpaced weak hiring in the private sector, pushing down the nation's payrolls by a net total of 95,000 jobs.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent last month. The jobless rate has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s.
The private sector added 64,000 jobs, the weakest showing since June.
Local governments cut 76,000 jobs last month, most of them in education. That's the largest cut by local governments in 28 years. And, 77,000 temporary census jobs ended in September.
Nearly 14.8 million people were unemployed last month. That's almost 100,000 fewer than in August.