Companies showed a lack of confidence about hiring for a third straight month in July, making it likely the economy will grow more slowly the rest of the year. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent.
Private employers added a net total of only 71,000 jobs in July, far below the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate.
African American unemployment edged up to 15.6 percent, while black teen unemployment rose to 40.6 percent, the highest of any group.
Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday, mostly because 143,000 temporary census jobs ended.
Investors reacted by selling stock futures and shifted into safer investments such as Treasury bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 2.87 percent from 2.91 percent late Thursday.