The unemployment rate inched closer to double digits, reaching 9.8% in September, federal officials said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, more than economists had expected. Construction, manufacturing, retail and government jobs were the hardest hit, accounting for 207,000 of the cuts, the federal Department of Labor reported.
In August, the unemployment rate was 9.7%. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed people has doubled to 15.1 million, according to the labor department.
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Many analysts believe the economy grew slightly in the July-September quarter, meaning an end to the recession, but few think the recovery will be strong enough to lower the jobless rate.
Get more: MSNBC