Employers sliced payrolls by 4,000 in August, the first drop in four years, a stark sign that a painful credit crunch that has unnerved Wall Street is putting a strain on the national economy. The latest snapshot of the employment climate, released by the Labor Department today, also showed that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent, mainly because hundreds of thousands of people left the work force for any number of reasons. Job losses in construction, manufacturing, transportation and government swamped gains in education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and retail. Employment in financial services was flat.
See Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2007