Sharp rise in US unemployment figures

Author: By James Moore

Employers axed a worse than expected 190,000 jobs last month, pushing the
jobless rate to 10.2 per cent. However, the country?s Labor Department
revised the figures for August and September to show 91,000 few posts had
been axed than previously feared.

Analysts had expected the cut to come in at 175,000 with the rate of
unemployment to stay just under the 10 per cent barrier at 9.9 per cent.
America is officially out of recession but there is usually a lag between
when a recovery starts and when the rate of unemployment starts to fall.

America?s job market is being watched closely as economists weigh weather it
can be expected to be sustained without state support. Growth came in at an
annualised rate of 3.5 per cent in the third quarter, ending what many saw
as the most painful recession in the US since the depression of the 1930s.

Hopes for better figures had been raised following news of a fall in initial
weekly jobless claims.

Payrolls have declined for 22 consecutive months, with 7.3m people finding
themselves without work since December 2007 when the financial crisis
plunged the US, and the world into a downturn which parts, including
Britain, have yet to start recovering from.

However, a bright spot in the figure was that the pace of layoffs has declined
from earlier this year. Nearly three quarters of a million posts were axed
in January. Last month jobs were lost across almost every sector of the US
economy with only education and health services, which added 45,000 jobs,
and professional and business services standing out as brightspots.

Manufacturing employment fell by 61,000 posts. Construction industry payrolls
dropped 62,000. The service sector was responsible for axing 61,000 workers
in October and goods-producing industries cut 129,000 jobs. Government
employment was flat.

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