Employment Report Delivers Mixed News

By Toni Vranjes

September 4, 2009

The latest employment figures are out, and the mixed news will add fuel to the debate over whether the job market is improving.

On the negative side, the jobless rate for August reached a 26-year high. The unemployment rate hit 9.7 percent, up from 9.4 percent the previous month, the Labor Department reported today.

The positive news is that job losses continued to ease, reaching the lowest level in a year. In August, employers cut 216,000 jobs. That number is down from 276,000 in July and 463,000 in June, according to revised figures released today.

The economy has lost 6.9 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.

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