U.S. unemployment rate hits 9.7 percent

Miami Residents Protest Proposed Tax Hikes

The unemployment rate in the United States has reached a 26-year-high.

According to Friday’s Labor Department report, the number of Americans out of work rose to 9.7 percent in August— the highest level since 1983.

The government reports a loss of 216,000 jobs in July and estimates 230,000 more were lost last month. The total number of unemployed is 14.9 million, roughly double the number at the start of the recession in December 2007.

Sectors losing jobs in August included the service sector, which dropped 80,000 employees, and the goods-producing industry, which lost 136,000 workers. Government jobs dropped by 18,000 after falling 28,000 in July.