The number of new jobs created in the United States in June was the lowest in nine months.
Only 18,000 new jobs were created in the month, way below expectations of a 90,000 rise, which were raised by strong private sector hiring figures released on Thursday.
The unemployment rate also rose, to 9.2% from 9.1% a month earlier.
President Barack Obama said the report showed the US still had "a long way to go".
''We have added two million new private sector jobs over the last 16 months, but the recession cost us 8 million,'' he said in a statement at the White House.
''That means we still have a big hole to fill.''
The BBC reports the figures from the the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that fewer than 50,000 jobs were created in the US economy in May and June.
This represents a sharp slowdown from the 217,000 net new jobs created in April.
The June result was driven by continuing layoffs by the public sector - where 39,000 jobs were lost - and a much weaker-than-expected 57,000 jobs created in the private sector.
Employment by the federal government fell 14,000 - its sharpest fall since temporary workers hired for the census finished work last year.
The numbers sent global stock markets lower. US markets opened lower, with the Dow Jones down 87 points, or 0.7%, at 12,633. The dollar also fell a cent against the euro.
Main European markets all closed more than 1% down.