The unemployment situation in the U.S. economy persisted at a low-level equilibrium in August, with non-farm jobs dropping by 54,000 and the overall unemployment rate climbing by one percentage point to 9.6 per cent, or 14.9 million unemployed persons.

According to the monthly figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) private payrolls however showed some positive growth, bringing cheer to markets at the end of the week. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1 per cent in early trading on Friday and in London the FTSE was up 1.24 per cent.

After a dismal August filled with negative economic news, most of it suggesting that the recovery had slowed significantly, the BLS noted that private sector payroll employment “continued to trend up modestly,” by 67,000 jobs.

However government employment fell, as 1.14 lakh temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work, the BLS report said. As a result the number had changed little in August.

Speaking shortly after the release of the BLS figures President Barack Obama said, “There is no quick fix to the worst recession we have experienced since the Great Depression.”

However he reassured Americans that there were “better days ahead,” reiterating that 67,000 private sector jobs were added in August although the month he took office 7.50 lakh jobs were lost. The evidence in the August report suggested that the U.S. economy was still far from escaping the clutches of the recession.