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October 8, 2010    

US unemployment rate holds steady at 9.6%

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by Kay Murchie

The Labor Department has revealed the world’s largest economy lost 95,000 non-farm jobs last month - nearly double the 54,000 jobs lost in August.

The latest figures means the unemployment rate held steady at 9.6%. The rate has now been above the 9% mark since May 2009.

The number of unemployed is hovering around the 14.8 million mark.

Today’s unemployment data represents the last before the next Federal Reserve meeting and the mid-term elections on 2 November.

With almost one in 10 workers out of a job, high unemployment remains a concern and households continue to be squeezed.

The world’s largest economy emerged from recession over a year ago, but the recovery remains sluggish.

The latest figures from the Commerce Department revealed the economy grew by an annualised 1.7% in the April to June period – slightly higher than the previous estimate of 1.6%.

The upward revision was due to a higher rate of consumer spending, which was revised upwards to 2.2% – the largest increase in three years.

However, despite the upward revision, second quarter growth is still lower than the 3.7% reported in the previous quarter.

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