Unemployment Levels Rise to 6.1%, Highest Level in 5 Years 1 Comment

The US unemployment rate is on the rise – to its highest level in nearly five years in August as the economy shed jobs for the eighth consecutive month. The economy lost 84,000 jobs in August.

The economy has now lost 605,000 jobs since January. Economists have said the economy needs to create about 100,000 jobs each month to keep up with new workers, but with August’s numbers, the economy has now averaged a monthly loss of about 23,500 jobs over the last 12 months.

Labor downwardly revised June and July payrolls by 58,000, for a cumulative two-month total of 160,000 jobs lost.

The unemployment rate, taken from a separate survey of households, rose sharply to 6.1% in August, the highest level seen since September 2003. Economists were expecting unemployment to rise to 5.8% from the 5.7% reported in July.

The official unemployment rate only includes workers who are actively seeking a job.

The labor force participation rate, which includes the number of working-aged people with jobs, was unchanged at 66.1%.

Services jobs are usually a major factor in job gains, but 27,000 jobs were lost in this sector in August, the largest job loss seen in 5 years. Service-sector jobs have declined for the last three months.

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  • Posted on: Friday, September 5th, 2008