WASHINGTON -- The U.S. unemployment rate bolted to a 14-year high of 6.5 per cent in October as another 240,000 jobs were cut, stark proof the economy is almost certainly in a recession.
The new snapshot, released Friday by the Labor Department, showed the crucial jobs market deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid pace.
The jobless rate zoomed to 6.5 per cent in October from 6.1 per cent in September, matching the rate in March 1994.
Unemployment has now surpassed the high seen after the last recession in 2001. The jobless rate peaked at 6.3 per cent in June 2003.
October's decline marked the 10th straight month of payroll reductions, and government revisions showed that 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 in September, compared with the 159,000 jobs first reported.
So far this year, a staggering 1.2 million jobs have disappeared. Over half of the decrease occurred in the past three months alone.