Adding 103,000 jobs to the economy in September wasn't enough to change the nation's unemployment rate for September, still stuck at 9.1 percent for the third consecutive month.
The U.S. Labor Department said jobs in the private sector improved but local, state and federal government agencies continued to see sharp cutbacks.
In all, 2011's third-quarter average monthly job growth was only 96,000-not enough to keep up with the population growth. Job growth averaged 166,000 per month in the first quarter of this year.
The ranks of the nation's unemployed remained at about 14 million. About 45 percent of those workers said they had been without jobs for six months or more.
Wall Street reacted with mixed results. Stocks made a late-morning attempt to move higher, but selling pressure undermined the effort.