WASHINGTON -- US unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent in August, reflecting business reluctance to hire amid uncertain economic prospect, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 54,000 last month, primarily caused by a decrease of 114,000 in the number of temporary workers hired for the decennial census. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 67,000.
July's payroll loss was revised downward to 54,000 from initially reported 131,000.
Nearly 8.5 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession in December 2007, and economists don't expect those losses to be recovered any time soon considering the severity of the recession and the lackluster of the recovery.