US employment gains slowed significantly in September, with the economy adding 661 thousand jobs, much weaker than forecast.
This is the lowest increase since the economy re-opened in June, and falls well below the employment increase of 1.5 million in August. But it was enough to push the jobless rate down to 7.9% from 8.4 % in August and a peak of just under 15% over the spring.
The African American unemployment rate slightly improved to just over 12% from 13% the previous month. But the participation rate declined across the work force, suggesting that many Americans have abandoned job searches.
The unemployment rate for white people was 7%, for Latinos it was 10.3%. The teenage unemployment rate was 15.9%. The current level marks the worst job loss that any president has faced going into an election based on records going back to World War II.