The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 10.2% in October as employers shed 190,000 jobs in the month, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The unemployment rate rose to the highest level since April 1983, when it was 10.2%. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed workers has risen by 8.2 million and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected employers to shed 175,000 jobs in October and for the unemployment rate to climb to 9.9%, according to the median estimate.
Manufacturing payrolls shrank by 61,000 and government payrolls were unchanged. Education, health, and business services added workers in October.
The drop in September nonfarm payrolls was revised lower to 219,000 from the 263,000 initially reported. Payroll loses in August were revised to 154,000 from 201,000.
Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% to $18.72 from $18.67 in September. The average work week was 33.0 hours, unchanged from September.
Economists expected average hourly earnings to increase 0.1% and for the work week to increase to 33.1 hours, according to the median Thomson Reuters estimate.
The rise in the unemployment rate could signal that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low, as it does not raise rates until after unemployment has peaked.