WASHINGTON – The U.S. unemployment rate shot up to 10.2 percent in October as another 190,000 jobs were shed, the Labor Department said Friday.
The report highlighted ongoing woes in the labor market in an economy struggling to emerge from recession: the jobless rate, up from 9.8 percent in September, was the highest since 1983 but the number of jobs lost narrowed to the lowest level in over a year.
Overall, the Labor Department monthly report, one of the best indicators of economic momentum, was worse than expectations for a 10 percent jobless rate and 175,000 job losses.
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But the improving trend continued, and the latest report revised down the number of job losses in August and September.
Nonfarm payrolls fell by 219,000 in August (instead of the prior estimate of 263,000) and by 154,000 in August (revised from 201,000).
The number of unemployed persons increased to 15.7 million. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points, the Labor Department said.
The largest job losses over the month were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade, the report showed.
The goods-producing sectors shed 129,000 jobs in the month including 61,000 in manufacturing and 62,000 in construction. Services lost 61,000 in the month, with 40,000 in retail.
The report showed modest employment gains in professional and business services of 18,000 and 45,000 jobs added in education. Government employment was flat.
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