Small Business Finance News

Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.8% Despite Spending, Income Gains

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 10/2/2009

Despite gains in personal spending and income, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September.

The leading economic indicators brought mixed news for small business owners this week, with the government reporting an increase in personal income and spending despite the fact that the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September.

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The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that personal income increased by $19.3 billion - or 0.2 percent - in August, while disposable personal income increased by $15.5 billion or 0.1 percent.

In addition, personal consumption expenditures increased $129.6 billion, or 1.3 percent. While personal income and disposable personal income showed growth similar to what was seen in July, the August growth in personal consumption expenditures was more than four times larger than the July growth.

Tempering this good news for small business owners was the unemployment report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which announced that the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September as nonfarm payroll employment declined by 263,000 jobs.

The largest job losses were seen in construction, manufacturing, retail trade and government.

Although the job market seems to contradict other improving economic indicators, unemployment is considered a lagging indicator and will likely be the last to see improvements in the economic recovery.

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