The U.S. Department of Labor announced that unemployment rate for the month of August was 9.7 percent -- the highest it has been in 26 years. Job losses for the month reached 216,000.
The statistics seem discouraging, but in reality, the news is mixed. The biggest losses were seen in construction and manufacturing, but health care and educational services actually saw an increase in jobs. In addition, the number of jobs lost has actually declined compared to previous months.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis released a statement in response to the new statistics, discussing what the department is doing about the situation. Actions include:
-extending the number of weeks eligible for unemployment insurance
-subsidizing 65 percent of COBRA premiums
-investing nearly $4 billion in federal Recovery Act funds in training workers
Besides the Department of Labor's website, Recovery.gov is a great resource to find out what is being done by the federal, state and local government. (For example, did you know that the Nevada Division of Forestry used grant money from the federal government to create jobs aimed to preserve forests and promote green energy?)