Nonfarm payroll flat in Aug, jobless rate 9.1% (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Job growth was unchanged in August, the weakest performance in almost a year, the Labor Department said Friday. The weak report was lower than the 53,000 gain expected by Wall Street economists. A strike at Verizon Communications Inc (VZ) cut 45,000 from payrolls in the month. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.1% as expected. Average hourly earnings decreased 0.1% to $23.09. Economists had been expecting a 0.1% gain. Earnings are up only 1.9% in the past year. The average workweek fell six minutes to 34.2 hours.