US unemployment rate jumps to 8.9 percent

May 8th, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 8 (DPA) The US unemployment rate surged to 8.9 percent in April, its highest level since 1983, with companies shedding another 539,000 jobs during the ongoing recession, the US Labour Department said Friday.
But the monthly loss was the smallest since October and lower than most analysts expected, suggesting that the worst of the economic downturn may be in the past.

The jobless rate was up from 8.5 percent in March and has climbed 3.9 percentage over the past 12 months. The struggling US economy has now lost 5.7 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

Employment in manufacturing, construction and retail continued to decline, while opportunities in health care and government grew in the month.

The Labour Department also revised upwards its job losses for February and March by another 66,000.

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