WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's unemployment rate soared to 4.9 percent in August, the biggest one-month jump in more than six years, as the slumping economy continued to hammer the labor market.
The Labor Department reported Friday that businesses slashed 113,000 jobs from their payrolls last month. The jobless rate rose by 0.4 percentage point in August from 4.5 percent in July, the level it had held since April.
The one-month deterioration was the biggest since a similar jump in April 1995, when unemployment rose from 5.4 percent to 5.8 percent.
Manufacturing was once again hardest hit, shedding 141,000 jobs, the biggest one-month loss for this sector so far this year. Virtually every major manufacturing industry lost jobs last month. Since July 2000, manufacturing employment has plummeted by 1 million. But gains in the service sector helped offset manufacturing job losses.
The overall decline of 113,000 jobs in August followed a revised 13,000 increase in July. The 4.9 percent unemployment rate is the highest since September 1997.
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