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U.S. job losses accelerate to 263,000 in September

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10/02/2009 08:58 AM
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U.S. job losses accelerate to 263,000 in September
[link to www.marketwatch.com]

"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. labor market weakened in September as 263,000 payroll jobs were lost and the unemployment rate rose a tenth to a 26-year high of 9.8%, the Labor Department reported.

It was the 21st consecutive month of job losses. Since the recession began in December 2007, 7.2 million jobs have been lost and the unemployment rate has doubled.

Details of the report were almost universally dismal, with the number of unemployed people rising by 214,000 to 15.1 million. Of those, 5.4 million have been out of work longer than six months, accounting for a record 35.6% of the jobless. The employment participation rate fell to 65.2%.

An alternative gauge of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and those forced to work part-time, rose to 17% from 16.8%.

Total hours worked in the economy fell by 0.5%. The average workweek fell back to an all-time low of 33 hours. Average hourly earnings rose just 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $18.67. Average hourly earnings are up 2.5% in the past year.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a smaller payroll loss of 167,000. They expected the unemployment rate to rise to 9.8%.

In August, payrolls fell by a revised 201,000, and the unemployment rate was 9.7%.

Payroll losses in July and August were revised lower by 13,000."
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