In September the American economy lost 263,000 jobs . That is far more than expected. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, the government reported on Friday, dimming prospects of any meaningful job growth by the end of the year.
The Labor Department’s monthly snapshots of unemployment dashed hopes that the pace of job losses would continue to slow as the economy clawed its way back from a deep recession. Economists had expected 175,000 monthly job losses.
“People have been celebrating that we’re through the financial crisis, but the underlying issues are all still there,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “We’ve lost trillions of dollars in housing wealth, and consumption’s going to be weak. It’s not the ’30s, but there’s really nothing to boost the economy,” The New York Times reports.
In the meantime, according to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate was the highest since June 1983 and payrolls had now dropped for 21 consecutive months. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 180,000 in September and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent the prior month. The poll was conducted before reports, including regional manufacturing surveys, showed some deterioration in employment measures. The government revised job losses for July and August to show 13,000 more jobs lost than previously reported. Preliminary annual benchmark revisions, released together with September's employment report showed that total non-farm payroll employment for March would have to be revised down about 824,000. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed people has risen by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, the department said. Manufacturing employment fell by 51,000 in September. The service-providing sector cut 147,000 workers in September, while goods-producing industries shed 116,000 positions. Education and health services added a mere 3,000 jobs, while government employment fell 53,000, Reuters reports.
It was also reported, of 271 industries, about 32% were hiring in September, down from 35% in August, the data showed.
In its survey of 60,000 households, the government found that employment fell by 785,000.
The unemployment rate for adult men rose to 10.3% and the rate for adult women rose to 7.8%. The unemployment rate for teenagers rose to a record 25.9%. The jobless rate for the whites rose to 9%, the rate for African-Americans rose to 15.4%, and the rate for Hispanics fell to 12.7%.
The participation rate for adult men fell to a record-low 74.7%, while the participation rate for teenagers dropped to a record-low 36.9%, MarketWatch reports.