U.S. unemployment rate jumps to 26-year high of 9.7%
Published: September 4,2009
U.S. payrolls have dropped by 6.9 million to a total of 131.2 million since the recession began in December 2007, the government data showed. Unemployment has increased by 7.4 million during the recession to stand at 14.9 million.
The 216,000 decline in payrolls was close to market expectations of a 233,000 drop, but the unemployment rate rose higher than the 9.5% level expected. The unemployment rate was 9.4% in July. See Economic Calendar.
It was the smallest decline in payrolls since August 2008.
Payroll losses have moderated in most industries in the past two months after severe declines earlier in the year. In the past three months, payroll losses have averaged 318,000 per month, compared with 491,000 in the previous three-month period.
Payrolls declined an upwardly revised 276,000 in July. In June and July, payroll losses were revised up by 49,000. Read the full government report.
Details of the August report were generally weak, however.
Payrolls fell in most sectors of the economy except for health care. Total hours worked in the economy dropped by 0.3%, long-term unemployment worsened, and the number of people working just part time who want full-time work reached 9.1 million, up 278,000.
The number of people who’ve been out of work longer than six months nudged up to 5 million, representing about one-third of the unemployed.
An alternative measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those forced to resort to part-time work rose to 16.8% from 16.3%, marking the highest on record dating back to 1995.
Average hourly earnings on the month rose 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $18.65 an hour. In the past year, average hourly earnings are up 2.6%.
Most industries shed jobs
Of the 271 industries as tracked by the Labor Department, 35% were adding workers in August, according to a survey of hundreds of thousands of business establishments.
Private-sector employment fell by 198,000 in August. Employment in the private-sector is now lower than it was 10 years ago.
Goods-producing industries cut 136,000 jobs, including 65,000 in construction and 63,000 in manufacturing.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Venture Tech merges with ISC, acquires SAT
- PSC's Brandon Presley calls in-state nuclear waste dump a 'harebrained scheme'
- Georgia-Pacific completes acquisition of SPG Holdings
- C Spire, UM installing Wi-Fi network at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
- Retired judge to hear McDaniel's challenge of primary loss to Cochran
- Community Bank names new officers
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- Southern Bancorp to acquire Bank of Bolivar County
- Corps official: River needs larger ports, locks and dams