(Newsroom America) -- The latest unemployment figures are, once again, not encouraging for those looking for work: first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, as consumers continued to suffer under the weight of higher gas prices.
The new unemployment figure is the highest in two months, according to government figures. Economists polled by Reuters said they expected new claims to be around 370,000.
A Labor Department official said Hurricane Isaac accounted for about 9,000 new claims, but even given those, the government's report contained little to suggest that the job market was improving after reasonable gains earlier in the summer.
Employers added a paltry 96,000 jobs last month, compared to 141,000 in July. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, but that is largely because more Americans have simply given up looking for work, Reuters said.
The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for three years, the first time that has happened since the Great Depression.
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