The unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, despite the addition of 103,000 jobs.

Nearly half the increase in employment was due to the settlement of the Verizon telecommunications workers strike, which added approximately 45,000 to the count. Job gains mostly occurred in professional and business services, health care and construction. However, government employment continued to trend downward.

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in September. Since April, the rate has remained in a narrow range between 9.0 and 9.2 percent.

Lawmakers in Congress had mixed reactions to the jobs report. “While any new jobs are welcome, the American economy is clearly stuck in neutral,” said Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a statement. “Without sustained economic growth, millions of Americans will remain unemployed. I am particularly disturbed by the troubling jobless rate for our Gulf War II era veterans, which increased to 11.7 percent. The do-nothing status quo in Washington is unacceptable. That’s why Senator McCain and I yesterday introduced the Foreign Earnings Reinvestment Act to bring a trillion dollars sitting overseas back to America (see McCain and Hagan Introduce Repatriation Tax Holiday Bill). Our bill is the type of practical, bipartisan measure that promises to provide a jolt to the economy precisely when it is needed most. Now.”

“The fact that our unemployment rate remains this high—over two and a half years after Democrats’ trillion-dollar stimulus plan—is a clear signal that we need to change course,” House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. “In the last week, we have begun to do just that. Because Republicans and Democrats worked together, the President will soon have the opportunity to sign into law three long-pending, job-creating trade agreements—each of which will open new markets where Americans can sell our goods and services. I urge the President to build on that success by setting aside his recent calls for more taxes and work with Congress to get this economy back on track.”

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