Jobless rate bolts to 14-year high of 6.5 percent

The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent in October as another 240,000 jobs were cut, far worse than economists expected and stark proof the economy is deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid pace.

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

The new snapshot, released Friday by the Labor Department, showed the crucial jobs market quickly eroding. The jobless rate zoomed to 6.5 percent in October from 6.1 percent in September, matching the rate in March 1994.

Job seekers wait in line at an October 2008 Internal Revenue ... 
Job seekers wait in line at an October 2008 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Career Open House in New York City. The White House on Friday said that a sharp rise in unemployment figures in October highlighted the importance of a government response, but indicated no new powers were needed.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Mario Tama)

Unemployment has now surpassed the high seen after the last recession in 2001. The jobless rate peaked at 6.3 percent 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.

Although the unemployment report was worse than expected, and Ford Motor Co. reported dismal third-quarter results and announced plans to cut more than 2,000 additional white-collar jobs, Wall Street investors appeared to take it all in stride. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 190 points in morning trading.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/
economy;_ylt=AotsUnMxfdq9W57QIWHAR6Ks0NUE

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