By and  on November 6, 2009

WASHINGTON — The highest unemployment rate in more than two decades overshadowed small signs of improvement in the U.S. labor market in October and could impact holiday season hiring for retailers.

The unemployment rate moved above 10 percent in October for the first time since 1983, despite a continued slowdown in the rate of job losses. The economy shed 190,000 jobs in October, the lowest monthly loss this year. The unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent from 9.8 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday.

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