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The US unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent in August, reflecting the reluctance of businesses to hire amid uncertain economic prospects.
Excluding the agricultural sector, 54-thousand jobs were lost last month, according to the Labor Department. But those smaller-than-expected job loss figures lessened fears that the country's economy is at risk for sliding back into recession.
Nearly 8.5 million jobs have been lost since the start of the downturn. Economists don't expect those positions to be recovered anytime soon, considering the severity of the recession, and the economy's lackluster rebound.
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