The Department of Labor released its much-anticipated unemployment and job loss figures on Friday, spooking markets and leading many to speculate about the future of the economic recovery.
The overall unemployment rate was flat at 9.5 percent, as 131,000 jobs were lost in July. That was largely the result of 143,000 temporary 2010 U.S. Census workers being laid off; the private sector actually added 71,000 jobs.
However, more bad news came from the revised figures, which showed that private job growth in June was only 31,000 and that total job losses in June were 221,000, not 125,000 as previously reported.
Stock markets reacted badly as the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both dropped over 1 percent.
Retail stores, which traditionally employ a lot of young people, have done particularly poorly, and the back-to-school season disappointed.
Merchants who primarily sell to teens, like Abercrombie and Fitch, saw a 1.5 percent increase in revenue since February; last year they saw business drop over 10 percent in the same period, reports the Associated Press. Since these stores employ a lot of teenagers, young workers are also suffering; teenage employment is triple the national average.