... but unemployment edges up in 27 states

MORE than half of US states saw their unemployment rates rise in August, the largest number in six months, as hiring weakened across the country.

Overall, the economy lost 54,000 positions in August and the unemployment rate rose to 9.6 per cent from 9.5 per cent in July. Private employers added a net total of only 67,000 jobs.

The the US Labour Department said the unemployment level fell in only 13 states while it was unchanged in 10 states and Washington, DC,

The figures were worse than the previous month, when the unemployment rate increased in only 14 states and fell in 18. It was the largest number of states to record an increase in the jobless total since February.