United States Unemployment Rate

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 04/25/2010 06:17 PM

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The unemployment rate increased to 10.2 percent in October, reaching double digits for the first time in 26 years and opening up many Americans’ eyes as to just how bad the current unemployment problem is.

In the six decades since the government has been keeping track of such data, the highest level of unemployment came at the end of 1982, when the rate was 10.8 percent. Even as the economy has resumed growing, these latest statistics show the economic improvements have yet to translate into jobs.

The 10.2 percent unemployment rate as of October is an increase from 9.8 percent in September and a loss of another 190,000 net jobs for the nation. This data has added increased pressure on the Obama administration to yield results from the $787 billion package of spending earlier this year to stimulate the economy.

On Friday, November 6th, President Obama signed into law a bill that extends both unemployment benefits and temporary tax credits for home buyers and said he was looking for other ways to stimulate job growth. Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, believes there has been a slowdown in the pace of job loss and argues that better days have already been on the way, while dismissing the idea that the stimulus spending has proved to be ineffective. “I don’t think it’s a matter of things going wrong,” she said. “We’re making a tremendous turning point here.”

The pace at which jobs are disappearing has slowed down as of October. Between November 2009 and April 2009, the economy lost an average of 645,000 jobs a month. Between May and July, the pace dropped to an average monthly loss of 357,000 jobs. Over the last three reports, average monthly job losses have slipped to 188,000. Temporary workers increased by 44,000 in October, adding to gains in the previous two months.

The hope is that as the economy grows, companies will use new profits to add to payrolls in a hope to increase sales. As workers spend their paychecks, they will create...