WASHINGTON — The nation’s unemployment rate zoomed to a five-year high of 9.6 percent in August from 9.5 percent the previous month, according to the monthly employment report released Friday by the Labor Department.
With US employers sheding 84,000 jobs, marking the third consecutive month thay the economy has slashed jobs, proof of the mounting damage a deeply troubled economy is inflicting on workers and businesses alike.
Friday’s jobs report was consistent with other recent indicators of economic slump—a collapse in home sales, declining manufacturing activity, rising mortgage delinquency rates—that portend further increases in joblessness in the months ahead.
The jobless rate jumped to 6.1 percent in August, from 5.7 percent in July. And, employers cut payrolls for the eighth month in a row.
The total number of Americans counted by the government as unemployed rose in August to 14.86 million, up from 14.59 million in July. While, manufacturing payrolls unexpectedly dropped by 27,000.
The number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time work rose to 8.9 million in August from 8.5 million in July. Unemployment has stayed above 9 percent for 16 straight months and is more than 1.5 percent higher than when Obama took office.
Obama said Friday that he intends to unveil a new package of proposals that will likely include tax cuts and spending to spark job growth.
Nearly 15 million people are unemployed this Labor Day weekend, grim news for President Barack Obama and the Democrats as the race for the White House kicks into high gear, ahead of the November midterm elections.