October 2, 2009

Unemployment rate hits 9.8 percent

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 9.8 percent in September on the loss of 263,000 jobs in the month, the Department of Labor said Friday.

Job losses were higher than expected. Economists expected 188,000 jobs would be lost in the month. The higher number suggests the economic recovery, which has been building steam for months, is still fragile.

The Labor Department said the total number of unemployed stood at 15.1 million workers, a nearly twice the 7.6 million who where listed as unemployed when the recession began in December 2007.

In September, 9.2 million workers were stuck in part-time jobs for economic reasons -- 100,000 more than a month ago. About 2.2 million were marginally attached to the labor force, meaning they had looked for work in the past 12 months and found none.

For adult men the unemployment rate is 10.3 percent. For adult women, unemployment is at 7.8 percent.

Among whites the unemployment rate is 9 percent. For blacks, the rate is 15.4 percent. Hispanics are listed at 12.7 percent unemployed. The unemployment rate for Asians in September was 7.4 percent, the department said.