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Unemployment rate hits 26-year high

Friday, November 6, 2009 - 10:44am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate has surpassed 10 percent for the first time since 1983 — and is likely to go higher.

Nearly 16 million people can't find jobs even though the worst recession since the Great Depression has apparently ended. The Labor Department says the economy shed a net total of 190,000 jobs in October, less than the downwardly revised 219,000 lost in September.

But the loss of jobs exceeded economists' estimates. It's the 22nd straight month the U.S. economy has shed jobs, the longest on records dating back 70 years.

Counting those who have settled for part-time jobs or stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 17.5 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

The jobless rate rose from 9.8 percent in September.