The Labor Department said the economy shed 199,000 jobs in September, somewhat more than expected, although the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%.
The report represented the biggest monthly loss of nonfarm jobs since September 1991.
The report showed the economy lost 93,000 manufacturing jobs, 44,000 retail jobs and 41,000 services jobs in the month. The finance and insurance industry added 14,000 jobs.
The Labor Department revised the number of jobs lost in August down to 84,000 from 113,000.