Despite US job losses, unemployment steady at 9.5 per cent

Despite US job losses, unemployment steady at 9.5 per cent

The US economy lost more jobs than expected in July but the unemployment rate remained steady at 9.5 per cent, goverment officials reported Friday, dpa reported.

The Labor Department said there was a net loss of 131,000 jobs in the month, higher than expected but reflecting the drawdown on temporary federal Census Bureau jobs during the month.

Private employers increased their job levels by 71,000 in July, while government jobs declined by 202,000.

Overall, the picture is one of a slow recovery, analysts said, raising the spectre of a loss of momentum that could prompt the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, to take steps when it meets on Tuesday.

"For America's workers, progress needs to come faster," US President Barack Obama said.

The US had 14.6 million jobless in July, unchanged from the previous month, the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Also worrisome for the overall economic picture was that the department also revised the June non-farm job loss figures to show that the economy lost 221,000 jobs, far above the initially-reported 125,000.

For May, the non-farm job total was revised upward to show a gain of 433,000, from the initially-reported 432,000.

Joblessness reached a 26-year high of 10.1 percent in October 2009.

Obama welcomed action by the US Senate that will keep keep 160,000 teachers in classrooms this fall whose jobs had been threatened by drooping state and local tax revenues. Speaker of the House of Representatives said she would reconvene the House from summer break for final passage of the legislation.

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