Jobless rate tops 10 pct. for first time since 1983 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ECONOMY

Jobless rate tops 10 pct. for first time since 1983

WASHINGTON. - The unemployment rate has surpassed 10 percent for the first time since 1983 and is likely to go higher.

Nearly 16 million people can't find jobs even though the worst recession since the Great Depression has apparently ended.

The Labor Department says the economy shed a net total of 190,000 jobs in October, less than the downwardly revised 219,000 lost in September, but the loss of jobs exceeded economists' estimates. It's the 22nd straight month the U.S. economy has shed jobs, the longest on records dating back 70 years.

Counting those who have settled for part-time jobs or stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 17.5 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

The jobless rate rose from 9.8 percent in September.

Obama to sign homebuyer, jobless bill assistance

Longtime jobless people and prospective homebuyers will be the main beneficiaries when President Barack Obama signs a $24 billion economic stimulus bill Friday.

The White House signing ceremony comes a day after the House voted 403-12 for the measure. The Senate approved it unanimously on Wednesday.

The bill also includes tax cuts for struggling businesses. Lawmakers note that initial signs of economic recovery have not been reflected in the job market.

The bill would provide another 14 weeks of benefits to all out-of-work people and an additional six weeks in states where the jobless rate is 8.5 percent or above.

The bill extends the popular $8,000 credit for first-time homebuyers until June and adds a $6,500 credit for existing homeowners who buy a new place after five years in their current residence.

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