Unemployment rate increases to 10.2 percent in October

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped from 9.8 percent in September to 10.2 percent in October—the highest level in 26 years—with employers cutting 190,000 jobs. Analysts were expecting a decline of 175,000 jobs.

Still, job losses continue to be less severe than earlier this year and late 2008; an average 188,000 jobs were lost monthly during the past three months compared with 357,000 during the previous three months and 645,000 from November 2008 through April. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revised job losses in August and September downward by about 100,000.

About 15.7 million people are unemployed in the U.S. Since the recession began in December 2007, about 7.3 million jobs have been lost. The number of those unemployed six months or longer hit a new high of 5.6 million, or 35.6 percent of the jobless.

"Small businesses tend to lead the way out of recession, and that's just not happening here," says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com. "They’re shedding workers, and that's the most worrisome aspect of what's going on in the job market."

In October, construction companies cut 62,000 jobs. Additionally, manufacturing cut 62,000 jobs and retail cut 40,000 jobs.

However, 34,000 temporary jobs were added, which is the first significant increase since the recession began and could be a first step toward permanent hiring. Also, average weekly earnings rose from $18.67 to $18.72.

Date : 11/9/2009