3 Jul 2009

US job losses worse than expected

7:33 pm on 3 July 2009

The number of jobs lost in the United States last month was 467,000 - much more than expected.

The jobless rate rose to 9.5% in June, from 9.4% in May, as the economy continued to struggle.

The BBC reports the unemployment rate was slightly lower than had been expected, but was still the highest since August 1983.

The Department of Labor said on Thursday the number of jobless people has risen by 7.2 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.

Non-farm payroll numbers are usually be issued on a Friday, but they have been announced a day early because US markets will be closed on Friday.

The latest set of figures also included revisions to data for the two previous months, with the number of jobs lost in April rising 15,000 to 519,000 and the number lost in May falling 23,000 to 322,000.

Average hourly earnings were unchanged at $US18.53.

In a separate weekly jobs report, the department said that the number of newly laid-off workers applying for employment benefits last week fell to 614,000, while the number of people continuing to claim benefits fell to 6.7 million.