Unemployment Rises to 10.2 Percent

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The economy lost 190,000 jobs in October, pushing the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent, the Labor Department said in a report released today, up from 9.8 percent in September. This is the highest it's been since 1983 and — despite employment being a lagging indicator — it's a bucket of cold water on those tentatively embracing the notion that the economy is in recovery.

“The rise in the unemployment rate is very ugly,” Ethan Harris, chief U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch told Bloomberg. “This is a big backward step to get this high of an unemployment number this early in the recovery.”

Dean Baker, a director for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told the Times he did not expect the rate to begin declining until spring. “We may be looking at very high levels,” he said, "for several years into the future.”

In the meantime, New York job hunters can always apply for a temporary job working the Charmin toilets in Times Square this holiday season. Of course, they'll have to compete with hundreds of people.

Unemployment in U.S. Jumps to 10.2%, Payrolls Fall (Update3) [Bloomberg]
U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 10.2%, Highest in 26 Years [NYT]