WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Friday the jump in the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent in October was a sobering figure that underscored the economic challenges ahead.
Obama, speaking after the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly rose to a 26 1/2-year high, also said he had signed a bill that extended jobless benefits and homebuyer tax credits.
I just signed into law a bill that will help grow our economy, save and create new jobs and provide relief to struggling families and businesses, Obama said in a statement delivered in the White House Rose Garden.
The need for such a measure was made clear by the jobs report that we received this morning. Although we lost fewer jobs than we did last month, our unemployment rate climbed to over 10 percent, a sobering number that underscores the economic challenges that lie ahead, he said.
The U.S. jobless rate jumped to a 26 1/2-year high of 10.2 percent in October, data released on Friday showed, adding to pressure on Obama to do more to tackle unemployment even as signs of recovery mount.
The Labor Department said that employers cut 190,000 jobs in October, more than the 175,000 markets had expected but fewer than the 219,000 lost in September.
Taking some of the sting out of the report, job losses for August and September were revised to show 91,000 fewer jobs were lost than previously reported.
While that hinted at some improvement in labor market conditions, economists had looked for the jobless rate to rise to 9.9 percent from September's 9.8 percent.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Alister Bull, editing by Doina Chiacu)