In graphics: US unemployment
Rising unemployment is one of the most serious problems facing the Obama administration since the financial crisis of 2008.
There has been zero net job creation in the US since 2000. The number of people out of work increases the amount the government has to pay in benefits as well as reducing the tax take.
Nationally the unemployment rate is 9.1%, compared with periods of economic boom when it was half that figure.
Unemployment rates are at their highest in the west with Nevada worst hit at 12.9%. California, one of the US's most populous states, is second with a rate of 12%.