5 Sep 2009

US unemployment rate at record level

1:51 pm on 5 September 2009

Unemployment in the United States is at its highest for 26 years.

Employers cut 216,000 jobs in August, taking the jobless rate to 9.7%.

The Labour Department says that since the start of the recession in December 2007, the US economy has shed 6.9 million jobs. The BBC reports total unemployment stands at 14.9 million.

However, analysts say the number of job losses was lower than they had expected and suggest labour market conditions might now be stabilising.

Most cuts were seen in the construction industry, with 65,000 jobs lost in the month.

However, health care and educational services added 52,000 jobs.