The Dow Jones industrial average was down 105 points at 14,500 at midday Friday, a drop of 0.7 percent. The Dow had been down as much as 171 points earlier.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,547. Technology fell the most of the 10 industry groups in the index.
The Nasdaq was down a percent, or 34 points, at 3,190.
The government reported that U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in nine months in March and more people gave up looking for work. The report was worse than economists were expecting.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to its lowest level this year, 1.69 percent.