More gloomy economic statistics from the US. A total of 159,000 people lost their jobs in September.
That is much worse that economists had predicted and is the steepest fall in payrolls in five and a half years.
A breakdown of the figures revealed the job losses were across the board.
This was the ninth straight month that US companies shed workers.
The decline in employment is accelerating with 9.47 million people out of work in September, however the jobless rate remained steady at 6.1% of the working population.
The figures stepped up the pressure on members of the US House of Representatives to vote for an almost 500 billion euro rescue package for banks and other financial firms carrying worthless mortgages, something which is contributing to a spreading credit crunch.
So far this year, the US has lost 760,000 jobs as companies cut back to try to preserve their profits.