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Unemployment rate highest since 1983

Mitchell Hartman Nov 6, 2009
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Unemployment rate highest since 1983

Mitchell Hartman Nov 6, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: President Barack Obama is expected to talk about double-digit unemployment later this morning. The official unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent in October, with employers cutting almost 200,000 more jobs. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman has our story.


Mitchell Hartman: Every month for nearly two years now, employers have been cutting their payrolls. There hasn’t been such a sustained period of job destruction since the 1940s.

In October, we lost 190,000 jobs. And they were, more or less, across the board: construction, manufacturing, retail, hospitality. Only professional services and temp work were up. That may signal businesses are getting ready to start hiring full-timers in coming months, says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.

NIGEL GAULT: Things will probably be gradually improving and then the government’s going to hire a lot of people for the census so that’s probably going to be enough to just push us over the top.

To put a rough timeline on that, Gault predicts we’ll keep losing jobs until around April of next year. Then the economy finally edges into job-creation territory.

But, we can also look forward to persistently high unemployment — above 10 percent — for a while longer, as businesses hold back on hiring, with so much economic uncertainty still on the horizon.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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