News Wrap: U.S. Gained Jobs in Sept., But Unemployment Sticks at 9.1%
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KWAME HOLMAN: The U.S. economy added jobs last month, but not enough to kick hiring into high gear. The Labor Department reported today a net gain of 103,000 positions in September. The August and July numbers were revised upward as well. However, much of the September total came from 45,000 Verizon workers rehired after going on strike.
All the gains came in the private sector, which added 137,000 new jobs. That was offset by the loss of 34,000 government jobs, mainly teachers and other school employees. The overall unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent.
The jobs numbers did little to boost Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 20 points to close at 11,103. The Nasdaq fell 27 points to close at 2,479. But for the week, the Dow gained more than 1.5 percent; the Nasdaq rose more than 2.5 percent.
In Syria, activists reported troops opened fire again on protesters after Friday prayers. The reports said eight people were killed and scores wounded as thousands rallied across the country. Meanwhile, gunmen shot and killed a leading Kurdish member of the opposition. Another opposition leader was beaten up in Damascus.
This was the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the fighting continued without letup. Taliban insurgents attacked several American bases in the east, and U.S. troops struck back with artillery fire. There were no U.S. deaths.
In Washington, President Obama marked the day without public ceremony. He issued a written statement saluting the more than 1,800 Americans killed in the Afghan war.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.