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UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 10.2% HIGHEST IN 26 YEARS

Posted on November 6, 2009
Filed Under Economics, Jobs | Comments Off on UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 10.2% HIGHEST IN 26 YEARS

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a 26-1/2-year high of 10.2 percent last month, adding to pressure on the Obama administration to do more to tackle unemployment even as signs of recovery mount.

The Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 190,000 jobs in October, more than the 175,000 markets had expected but fewer than the 219,000 lost in September.

Taking some of the sting out of the report, job losses for August and September were revised to show 91,000 fewer jobs were lost than previously reported.

While that hinted at some improvement in labor market conditions, economists had looked for the jobless rate to rise to 9.9 percent from September’s 9.8 percent.

“Unfortunately, the problem is becoming deeper and more protracted,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of bond giant Pacific Investment Management told Reuters. “It’s not just the increase in the headline number. … It’s also about the longer-term nature of unemployment, the increase in underemployment, and the prospect for only a very gradual recovery.”

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