Employers in the United States continued to cut jobs in August, but the pace of layoffs slowed, however the unemployment rate jumped getting closer to 10 percent.During the month 216,000 jobs disappeared, an improvement on July’s 276,000 and the smallest decline this year. But the jobless rate rose to 9.7 percent of the working population after falling to 9.4 percent in July. At the start of the recession it stood at five percent. The layoffs continue, with companies including American Airlines and appliance maker Whirlpool eliminating more jobs just this week, but the latest figures showed that the US labour force increased by 73,000 in August. That indicates that some people who had given up looking for work have now returned to the labour pool which partly accounts for the rise in the unemployment rate. Since the recession began in December 2007, the US economy has shed 6.9 million jobs.