US unemployment rate holds steady at 9.1%

| October 7, 2011

According to the Labor Department, the world’s largest economy added 137,000 new jobs last month, as the public sector cut 34,000 jobs.

According to the Labor Department, the private-sector numbers benefited from the return of around 45,000 Verizon workers who had fallen off payrolls in August due to a strike.

Excluding those workers, payrolls increased by 58,000.

The latest figure means the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1% with the number of unemployed people at 14 million.

Continued high unemployment could threaten President Barack Obama’s prospects for re-election next year.

The US economy has been struggling with high unemployment and a depressed housing market, which is hampering growth.

Earlier this week, the Commerce Department said the economy grew by 1.3% on an annual basis in the April to June period – higher than an initial estimate of 1%.

The figure was also slightly higher than analysts’ expectations of 1.2% and follows a 0.4% growth rate in the first quarter of the year.

The upward revision was attributed to higher exports and strong spending and is the final figure for the second quarter.

For the first six months of the year, the economy expanded by 0.9% – however, this represented the lowest rate of growth in more than two years.

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