By Christopher Leaonard, AP Business Writer If the recession really is ending, someone forgot to tell the nation's employers. A net total of 263,000 jobs vanished from the economy last month — much worse than economists' expectation of 180,000 job losses. The Labor Department figures set the stage for a scenario that labor analysts expect: that joblessness will continue to rise for several months or more after the economy starts to rebound. The unemployment rate stands at 9.8%, a 26-year high. The rate would have been higher if 571,000 people hadn't dropped out of the labor force, which many did in frustration over failing to find jobs. That leaves 15.1 million Americans out of work, a huge pool of people. Many discouraged workers are likely to re-enter the labor market and compete for jobs that will eventually be created. That's why the overall unemployment rate — measuring people searching for work who can't find it — can continue to rise even after employers start creating thousands of jobs each month. Even though economists think the economy has begun to grow, it could be well into 2010 before job creation ramps up. Here are some details, by the numbers. Photo Credit: Passionate Photo
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