Unemployment Holds At 9.1%

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – There was no change in the national unemployment rate, which stubbornly remains at 9.1 percent, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourteen million Americans remain unemployed and looking for work.

Gains in some sectors, such as health care, were offset by losses in others, so there was no change in non-farm payroll employment.

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The size of the nation’s civilian labor force rose slightly to 153.6 million in August, but it is still smaller than it was a year ago when it included 154.7 million people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 139.6 million people were employed in August, down from 139.9 million a year ago when the unemployment rate stood at 9.5 percent because more people were seeking jobs.

Six million people are classified as long-term unemployed because they have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. They account for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.

The number of people working part-time for economic reasons rose from 8.4 million to 8.8 million in August. They have either had their hours reduced or are working part-time because of an inability to find a full-time job.

Previously announced employment gains in June and July were revised downward – from +46,000 to +20,000 for June and from +117,000 to +85,000 for July.

At the end of this month, 28 states will have to begin paying interest on money borrowed from the federal government to keep their unemployment programs solvent. As part of the federal government’s economic stimulus package, the government made interest-free loans for two years.

As of Aug. 31, New Jersey had a $1.2 billion outstanding balance on its loan from the Federal Unemployment Account. According to a May estimate by Federal Funds Information for States, New Jersey will have to make a $58.3 million payment by Sept. 30.


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