WASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation's unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent in June as manufacturers continued to suffer heavy job losses and demand for workers in service industries fell to the lowest level in 10 months.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the jobless rate rose 0.1 percentage point from a 4.4 percent rate in May. The 4.5 percent level matched the unemployment rate in April with both months representing the highest level the jobless rate has reached in the year-long economic slowdown.
Businesses slashed payroll for the second time in three months, cutting 114,000 jobs in June, after a reduction of 165,000 jobs in April. Payrolls had only edged up by 8,000 in May.
To stave off recession, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates six times this year. The most recent cut, by a quarter-point, came last week. Each of the other five were by bolder half-point moves.