WASHINGTON – The nation's unemployment rate bolted to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent in October as another 240,000 jobs were cut, the government said Friday. It was stark proof the economy is almost certainly in a recession.
The new snapshot, released by the Labor Department, shows the crucial jobs market deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid pace.
The jobless rate zoomed to 6.5 percent in October from 6.1 percent in September, matching the unemployment rate in March 1994. Employers have cut jobs each month this year.
Unemployment has now surpassed the high seen after the last recession in 2001. The jobless rate peaked at 6.3 percent in June 2003.
Employers got rid of 240,000 jobs in October, marking the 10th straight month of payroll reductions.
Job losses in August and September turned out to be much deeper. Employers cut 127,000 positions in August, compared with 73,000 previously reported. A whopping 284,000 jobs were axed last month, compared with the 159,000 jobs first reported.
So far this year, a staggering 1.2 million jobs have disappeared.