US jobless rate hits 26-yr high


The labour department said employers cut 216,000 jobs, the smallest since August 2008, and revised job losses for June and July to show 49,000 more jobs lost than previously reported.
The labour force increased by 73,000 in August, which indicated the return of some jobless workers who had given up looking for work, accounting for part of the rise in the unemployment rate.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the economy has shed 6.9 million jobs, the department said. Stubbornly high unemployment is wearing on consumer confidence and crimping domestic demand, pointing to an anemic recovery from the worst slump in 70 years. Consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. However, the report confirmed the pace of layoffs was easing from early this year, when nearly three quarters of a million jobs were lost in January.

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