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Unemployment Reaches 10.2 Percent, Highest in 26 Years

The unemployment rate in the United States reached a 26-year high in October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The rate rose to 10.2 percent, the highest since April 1983; the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively seeking work. The economy lost 190,000 jobs in October, a decline from the downwardly revised number of 219,000 in September but worse than the average industry prediction of 175,000. Manufacturing lost 61,000 jobs, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods; 2.1 million jobs have been lost in manufacturing since December 2007. In other industries, construction lost 62,000 jobs; services lost 61,000; and retail trade lost 40,000. Job gains were reported in education, healthcare, and business and professional services. The Labor Department also reports that the number of long-term unemployed -- those out of work for six months or longer -- is 5.6 million, representing approximately one-third of all unemployed people. The figures for November will be released on December 4.

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