The nation’s unemployment rate jumped again last month to 9.7 percent – the highest since 1983. The federal government estimates that at least 14.9 million people are out of work, although the actual number is likely much higher. About 216,000 people lost their jobs in August, bringing the total job losses nationwide to 7 million since the recession officially began in late 2007. The dismal unemployment numbers also means that the economic recovery, if we have one, may be weaker than expected. In addition, if more people being out of work leads to more property foreclosures, the credit crunch could return and the economy could nosedive again.