Saturday, 6 June 2009

USA on the up!

The US unemployment rate climbed to 9.4 percent in May, the highest level in more than a quarter century, according to statistics released by the Department of Labor on Friday. The jobless rate jumped by a half a percentage point over April, as employers shed 345,000 positions overall.

Over 14.5 million US workers are now officially unemployed. Seven million of these, or 4.5 percent of the workforce, have been without work for 15 weeks or longer—the largest proportion of the workforce since before 1948, when the government began tracking the figure. The official US jobless rate does not include those forced to work part-time, “discouraged workers” (those no longer actively seeking work), and other “marginally attached workers.” Adding these categories, the jobless rate now stands at 16.4 percent—the highest figure since at least 1994, when the Labor Department began to track the statistic. A staggering one of every six American workers is now unemployed or underemployed.

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