U.S. employers cut payrolls for a third month in a row in March and the unemployment rate jumped to a 2-1/2 year high, adding more evidence that the economy may be in a recession.
Following are reactions by U.S. presidential candidates:
Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama
"It's time to turn the page on a Bush-McCain approach that tells Americans who are struggling that 'You're on your own' unless you have a lobbyist in Washington, because we're not going to strengthen our economy unless we come together on behalf of our common prosperity.
"Instead of doing nothing for out-of-work Americans, we need a second stimulus that extends unemployment insurance and helps communities that have been hit hard by this recession.
"Instead of tolerating decades of rising inequality, we need to grow the middle class by investing in millions of new green jobs and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure .
"And after decades of flawed trade agreements and tax breaks that ship our jobs overseas, we need to invest in companies that create jobs right here at home."
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain
"In addition to rapid and targeted help for those families hurt by the mortgage crisis, it is essential to reduce the burdens on businesses and workers by lowering taxes, streamlining regulation, tackling health care costs, opening markets to American goods and helping those workers in need.
"Today's news also underlines the need to focus on innovation, which grows the economy and creates an urgent need for effective worker re-training.
"Despite today's news, the Democrats will continue to advance their anti-growth agenda. The American people cannot afford the Democrats and their economic leadership. Washington must not be an obstacle to economic growth and robust job creation."
New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton
"For more than a year I have been like Paulette Revere, calling for action to keep the problems from our housing market from spilling over into our economy. After a year of denial and half-measures it is time for this administration to put ideology aside and get serious about stemming this crisis. Perhaps this jobs report will also help John McCain recognize that doing nothing is not an economic strategy in times of urgent need...
"I believe we must stand ready for the government to purchase at-risk mortgages. We also need a second stimulus of at least $30 billion to help states and localities fight the foreclosure crisis in their communities."