Nightly News   |  October 07, 2011

Hiring uptick, but unemployment holds steady

U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in September, the government said Friday, but the nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent. The stagnant job market is a big factor that's fueling the anger in anti-Wall Street protests. NBC’s Chris Jansing reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Well, we got the employment report for September this morning. It was better than the experts had expected. Employers added 103,000 workers to their payrolls, though that number included 45,000 Verizon Communications workers that went back to their jobs after a strike. Unemployment rates stayed steady, 9.1 percent, but remember, it's part of the battle cry of the protest movement Occupy Wall Street which has spread far beyond New York City . Our report from NBC 's Chris Jansing .

Group of People #1: What does that spell? Occupy .

CHRIS JANSING reporting: The demonstrations have lasted so long and expanded so widely that even with a few funny outfits, they're hard to ignore.

Unidentified Woman: Occupy Wall Street .

JANSING: Occupy Wall Street , a protest against economic and social inequality, has now spawned organized marches in 45 states.

Group of People #2:

JANSING: In just the last 24 hours...

Group of People #3: I can.

JANSING: ...protests from Houston to Washington, DC. Hundreds took over a Los Angeles intersection. Four thousand marched in Portland . And in Tampa , raucous demonstrators descended on the banking district.

Group of People #4: We are the 99 percent.

JANSING: And those protesters not always who you would expect.

Mr. BUDDY BOLTON: I used to have a $100,000 a year salary job.

JANSING: Buddy Bolton lost his job a year ago. Frustration brought him to lower Manhattan .

Mr. BOLTON: I think it's our Arab spring. It's our opportunity as citizens to let the government know that the system is in need of repair.

JANSING: Occupy Wall Street is drawing historical comparisons.

Mr. MICHAEL KAZIN (Professor, Georgetown University): The first stage of any

movement is a lot of people showing how unhappy they are at the situation: the civil rights movement , the anti-war movement. If it lasts long enough and is organized well, it could become a mass movement .

JANSING: Money could help. Supporters have dropped thousands of dollars into buckets on the street. Then 11 days ago, Occupy Wall Street got tax exempt status and quickly raised at least $50,000, most of it online.

Ms. VICTORIA SOBEL (Occupy Wall Street Finance Committee): It's compelling. It really is compelling to see how quickly things have grown and taken off. And what it means is that the burden of responsibility is now on us.

JANSING: Experts say leaders will need to emerge with a plan to use that cash and harness all that energy before rage can turn to revolution. And here in New York tonight, there are hundreds of protesters. Some have been here all 21 days. And while there are skeptics, the organizers here say they're not going away. Brian :

WILLIAMS: Chris Jansing in lower Manhattan on a Friday night. Chris , thanks.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: The word arrived today. Three women have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize . Late today President Obama praised their power,