U.S. stocks ended last Friday lower as U.S. unemployment continue to weigh on the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 21 points, or 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 4 percent, or 0.4 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 4 points.
The latest government report on jobs showed that while the private sector hired some workers, it paled in comparison to the number of jobs lost in the public sector as state, local, and federal governments and agencies raced to shed staff amid budget constraints. The jobs report added to investor uncertainty regarding the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, which has been slower than many economists’ predictions—consumer spending is a major portion of the U.S. GDP, and unemployment drastically affects the amount of disposable income for consumers. All three stock indices ended last week higher.