U.S. Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs; Unemployment Remains At 9.6%

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in October, according to data released by the federal Department of Labor this morning. The unemployment rate, essentially unchanged since May, remained at 9.6 percent.

“One year ago, I reported an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent — the highest rate we had seen since 1983,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. “Since then, the actions taken by the Obama administration have lowered unemployment by half a point, reflecting in more than 1.1 million jobs created in the private sector this year.”


Solis warned that the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is set to expire at the end of the month. Two million people will lose benefits in December and six million by the end of next year when that happens.

“With nearly five job seekers for every job opening, many people will necessarily have to rely on the Unemployment Insurance system until the economy returns to pre-recession levels. We should not allow Americans to suffer when they have done nothing wrong,” she said.

Since December 2009, nonfarm payroll employment has risen by 874,000, and private-sector employment has increased by 1.1 million. Much of October’s gains came from temporary help services (35,000 jobs), retail trade (28,000), health care employment (24,000), food services (24,000), computer systems design (8,000) and mining (8,000).

Local government employment, excluding education, decreased by 14,000 over the month and has fallen by 123,000 over the last 12 months.

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