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October 2nd, 2009

Unemployment Increases in September



Both the unemployment rate as well as job losses increased in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Widely expected by most analysts, the unemployment rate trended upwards last month to 9.8%, making its way towards the 10% mark expected by many in 2010. Payrolls dropped by 263,000 jobs in September, bringing the grand total of jobs lost since the recession began in December of 2007 to 7.2 million.

September marked the 21st consecutive month of job losses. Even those who have remained employed continue to grapple with diminished work weeks and less hours:

An alternative gauge of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and those with part-time employment, rose to 17% from 16.8%.

Total hours worked in the economy fell by 0.5%. The average workweek dropped back to an all-time low of 33 hours.

In addition, average hourly earnings rose just 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $18.67. Average hourly earnings are up 2.5% in the past year.

Moody’s Economy.com predicts that the employment situation will remain dire in 2010 before gaining ground in 2011. Moody’s says we should expect increased hours for existing employees before business jump start hiring:

Moody’s Economy.com expects payroll losses to continue through mid-2010 with the unemployment rate topping 10%. Further, the labor market will not gain its stride before 2011. Employers will first increase the hours of its existing workforce before taking on new workers, and given the severity of the downturn, employers will be very cautious before they begin to expand their payrolls.

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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