Julia Kollewe and Kathryn Hopkins
The Guardian
September 6, 2008

Stock markets fell sharply in London and around the world today after further evidence of weakness in the US jobs market revived worries about the health of the global economy.

Jobs data released this afternoon showed that unemployment in the US soared to its highest level in nearly five years in August, as the credit crunch continues to takes it toll on the country’s already fragile economy.

The US Labour Department said that employment in the US outside the agricultural sector fell 84,000 in August, exceeding economists’ expectations of a 75,000 drop.

There was also an unexpected increase in the country’s unemployment rate last month, to 6.1% – the highest since December 2003. Analysts has expected it to remain steady at 5.7%.

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