Unemployment nationwide rose officially to 9.8 percent in September, but the true jobless rate, including those who have had their hours cut or have stopped looking for work, soared to 17 percent. Overall, employers slashed 263,000 jobs last month higher than the 201,000 job cuts in August, and much higher than the 175,000 that economists predicted, according to the Chron.
In addition, about 600,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month. And September was the 21st straight month of job losses in a recession that has seen more than 7.2 million jobs cut. The Chron also reports that of the 15.1 million Americans who are now unemployed, a record 5.4 million, or 36 percent, have been jobless for more than six months. In the East Bay, Gay Plair Cobb, head of the Oakland Private Industry Council, said Oakland's unemployment rate is 17.5 percent.