Unemployment Hits 9.8%

U.S. sheds 263,000 jobs in September

On October 2 the U.S. Labor Deparment reported that the unemployment rate rose in September to 9.8% as 263,000 jobs were cut.

The goods-producing sector lost 116,000 jobs in September including 64,000 in manufacturing. Even worse, the services sector shed 147,000 jobs with 39,000 of those in retailing.

The report on nonfarm payrolls, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum was far worse than expectations for a loss of 175,000 jobs and could hurt chances of a sustainable recovery from recession.

The number of job cuts rose sharply after a revised loss of 201,000 in August.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the figures showed the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, and the unemployment rate has doubled to 9.8%, according to the Labor Department.

The latest official data showed the economy contracted at a 0.7% pace in the second quarter, nearly emerging from the recession that slashed output by 6.4% in the first quarter.

Most economists expect growth to return in the third quarter but say the recovery could fade without job growth.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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