Job creation for August was a huge disappointment, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 720,000 new hires.
The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% from 5.4%, in line with estimates.
August’s total — the worst since January — comes with heightened fears of the pandemic and the impact that rising Covid cases could have on what has been a mostly robust recovery. The weak report could cloud policy for the Federal Reserve, which is weighing whether to pull back on some of the massive stimulus it has been adding since the outbreak in early 2020.
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