US Unemployment Rate Climbs to Year’s Highest Level

Posted July 8th, 2011 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
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The unemployment rate in the United States increased to 9.2 percent in June, the highest level this year.

Friday’s report from the Labor Department showed that American employers added only 18,000 jobs in the month of June, the smallest increase in nine months and another indication that the U.S. economy is still struggling to recover from a deep recession.

The June unemployment rate was one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the previous month and the highest since December of 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama was expected to discuss the economy later Friday morning.

On Thursday, the U.S. government reported that the number of Americans submitting first-time applications for unemployment insurance had fallen, along with the number of out-of-work people continuing to get government jobless benefits.

Some economists saw Thursday’s figures as an indication that the U.S. economy and job market were improving again after stalling due to rising gas prices and the March 11 earthquake that devastated northern Japan and disrupted the supply chains for several key industries.

A private report on the nation’s job market released Thursday also offered some hope, saying private companies added about four times the number of jobs in June than in May. But Friday’s government report showed far fewer new jobs than expected in June.