2008_09_unemplo.jpgJob losses were greater than expected as the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate is now at 6.1%, the highest in five years. Bloomberg reports, "The increase in the jobless rate sent the misery index, which adds unemployment to inflation, to 11.7 percent, the highest level since 1991." In total, "2.2 million Americans have lost their jobs over the past year. Experts are divided about whether this is a recession, but it's definitely an election issue. John McCain said, “Americans are hurting and we must act to create jobs," while Barack Obama said, "Today’s jobs report is a reminder of what’s at stake in this election." [Thumbnail image from this detailed NY Times graphic about the "Labor Picture in August."]