WASHINGTON (AP) -- The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September as employers cut more jobs than expected, evidence that the longest recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain.
The Labor Department says the nation's economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs last month, up from a downwardly revised total of 201,000 in August.
That's above Wall Street economists' expectations of 180,000 job losses, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in August, matching expectations.
If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.
Some experts have said it may be difficult to avoid double digit unemployment.
The 9.8 percent rate unveiled Friday is the highest since June 1983. Employment numbers have been falling for 21 straight months now.
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