WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's unemployment rate edged back up to 5.7 percent in October as businesses cut 5,000 jobs, indicating the employment market remains uncertain for workers and companies amid the nation's bumpy recovery.
October's 5.7 percent jobless rate was up slightly from 5.6 percent in September, and jobs were cut for the second month in a row, the Labor Department reported Friday. Cuts came largely in manufacturing, construction and temporary employment services. Those job losses were largely offset by gains in the service sector.
The good news is the country's employment situation appears to be moderating, with the jobless rate nudging up and down slightly in recent months instead of surging in one direction. But economists are concerned about the lack of new jobs being created.
"Essentially this is a jobless recovery," said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors in Pennsylvania. "Unfortunately businesses have every good reason to be conservative right now. Why go out on a limb?"
Business and consumer confidence is fading, shaken by a turbulent stock market and a possible war with Iraq. That has caused any recovery to continue in fits and starts as businesses have remained hesitant to increase spending to modernize and expand production in the face of weak demand.
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