The unemployment rate hit 10.2% in the US last month, according to the US Department of Labour

The US economy lost 190,000 jobs and the unemployment rate reached 10.2% in October, new figures revealed.

US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said: "We have known for some time now that the unemployment rate could reach this level, and it is an unacceptable situation.”

At its worst point in January 2009, the US economy was in a freefall, shedding 700,000 jobs a month.

Signs of improvement have started to emerge, at the beginning of November figures revealed that the US economy is growing, rather than shrinking, for the first time in a year.

"As the economy recovers, more businesses will begin hiring workers, and there are signs of transformation and growth even in sectors that were hardest hit,” added Solis.