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3 Sep, 2010 16:50

US jobless rate jumps to 9.6% - sign of troubled times

The unemployment rate in the US is nearing 10 percent - that's more than a 5 percent rise from pre-crisis figures. The data was published in the Labor Department unemployment report.

Job creation had primarily been coming from the federal government, and these were temporary jobs that are now being lost. A hundred and fourteen thousand of them were shed in August.

There are several negative economic conditions that are causing small- and medium-size businesses to continue to shed jobs. In addition, there have been job losses in industries, such as manufacturing and construction, that the US really relied on and which many economists believe are not coming back.

They believe these jobs have been lost permanently and that could be one of the reasons why the unemployment rate has been above 9 percent for the last 16 months.

Economist Max Fraad Wolff from New York claims the real figures are worse.

“We are nearing three years and we’ve had a pretty steady unemployment rate above 9%, sometimes we’ve been closer to 10%, sometimes we’ve been closer to 9.5%, and the official headline of 9.5%, today went to 9.6%, is a bit of an understatement,” he explained RT. “The broader measure that one people should look at is something called the U-6 measure, and it gives us an official unemployment rate here – 16,7% – so, actually, closer to 20% than 10%.”

“And we are constantly filling in a hole that’s getting bigger faster than we are filling it in,” Wolff added. “And it basically tells us that every American town, every American community and most bigger American families have people in them who have spent some or much of last three years struggling to find a job or struggling to keep the job, or struggling in not finding a job, or struggling in not keeping a job.”

Speaking on the approaching mid-term elections, Wolf emphasized that Obama’s administration has little time left to change the situation.

“A big challenge for the White House is we just got the August job numbers, of course, those come in the beginning of this September, we’ll have one more job report, that will come in the beginning of October and talk about September, and then before we even can get a third job report, we only have one more before the midterm elections,” he said. “The mid-term elections, the House and Senate are up for grabs, and it looks like the Republicans will make significant gains in the House and the Senate. You have to assume that the Republicans’ obstructionism for various programs coming from Obama’s White House will intensify, as Republicans pick up seats in the House and Senate, so, that it’s going to be harder for the Obama administration to do whatever it wants to try to do after the midterm elections. And we have one job report between now and those elections.”