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U.S. unemployment rate inches up to 9.5 percent


The nation’s unemployment rate inched up to 9.5 percent in June as employers shed 467,000 jobs.

The layoffs were more than the 363,000 economists expected, according to the Associated Press, a sign that the economy could continue to struggle to recover.

Overall, 14.7 million people were unemployed. If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or taken part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.5 percent last month.

In May, the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent after employers cut 322,000 positions, fewer than the 345,000 initially reported. The situation is still better than January, when 741,000 jobs were eliminated, the most in any month since 1949.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed people has increased by 6.5 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 4.6 percentage points.

The biggest cuts in June were in manufacturing (down 136,000 jobs), professional and business services (down 118,000) and construction (down 79,000). The health-care sector had a 21,000 increase in jobs.

Meanwhile, the average workweek for production and non-supervisory workers fell by 0.1 hour to 33 hours, the lowest level on records dating back to 1964. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 39.5 hours. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.7 percent while weekly earnings have risen only 0.9 percent, reflecting a decline in the average workweek.

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