U.S. unemployment hits 10.2 per cent

190,000 job losses drive rate to 26-year high
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/09/2010

The United States unemployment rate climbed to 10.2 per cent in October, 0.4 percentage points from September.

The economy shed 190,000 jobs last month, driving the unemployment rate to a 26-year high, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 15.7 million unemployed people in the U.S. in October, an increase of 558,000 from September.

October marked the 22nd consecutive month that the U.S. economy has lost jobs.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill to extend unemployment benefits, for up to 20 additional weeks, with the longest extensions for hardest-hit states. Under current laws, most states provide 26 weeks of benefits.

With data revealing the U.S. economy grew by 3.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2009, the higher unemployment rate supports the idea the country is in a "jobless recovery."

Employment is often a lagging indicator — the last to decrease as the economy worsens and the last to increase when the economy improves.

"History tells us that job growth always lags behind economic growth, which is why we have to continue to pursue measures that will create new jobs," said Obama at a press conference discussing the unemployment rate.

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