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U.S. job losses slow in April, but unemployment rises


Washington, D.C. The pace of layoffs slowed in April as U.S. employers cut 539,000 jobs, the fewest in six months. But the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9%, the highest since late 1983, as many businesses remain wary of hiring given all the economic uncertainties.

The Labor Department tally released Friday wasn’t nearly as deep as the 620,000 job cuts that economists were expecting, and was helped by a burst of government hiring. However, the rise in the unemployment rate from 8.5% in March matched economists’ forecasts.

While the government department highlighted the toll the recession -- the longest since World War II -- has taken on America’s workers and companies, the slowdown in layoffs may be a glimmer of hope for the near future.

Companies across the board have turned to layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, including capping workers’ hours and freezing or cutting pay to survive the recession. Since the recession began in December 2007, there has been a net total of 5.7 million lost jobs, the article said.

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