Both bad winter weather and war preparations may have played a part in a decline in payrolls for the month of February.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor said that 308,000 jobs outside the farm sector were cut last month. The last time for a one-month payroll loss of this size was the 327,000 jobs cut in November 2001, labor officials said.
The department said weather-sensitive areas such as construction jobs were impacted by the snowy conditions. The impact of military reservists leaving their jobs for duty may also have impacted this report, officials said.
Construction payrolls fell by 48,000 last month, and factory payrolls dropped by 53,000. Retail positions were down 92,000 and services fell 86,000.