The US unemployment rate has remained at 9.6 per cent, despite the creation of 159,000 new jobs. The newly-released October Employment Report reveals the figure has stayed the same for the third month in a row.
Six month figures show the unemployment rate is hovering around 10 per cent. It has been at 9.5 or higher since August 2009, a record since the start of monthly figures 60 years ago.
There are more new jobs than expected, as private companies hired workers at the fastest pace since April. However, there are still almost 15 million Americans are out of work. This high jobless figure is allowing employers to keep wages low, which, in turn, is having a negative effect on household spending and depressing inflation.
After the Democrats’ poor performance in Tuesday’s mid-terms, many now fear political gridlock may hinder efforts by US President, Barack Obama, who said he is open to any ideas on how to improve the situation: “Just as we passed a small business jobs bill based on the ideas of both parties in the private sector, I am open to any idea, any proposal, any way we can get the economy growing faster so that people who need work can find it faster.”
The report also adds weight to the Federal Reserve’s assessment of a ‘disappointingly slow’ recovery. Earlier in the week, the Fed announced it will pump extra money into the economy through the purchase of over 420 billion euros worth of government bonds.