So much for the light at the end of the tunnel …

The U.S. job market unexpectedly deteriorated in June as employers shed nearly half a million jobs – the first uptick in job losses in four months and a sign that the American economy is still far from being on the rebound.

According to data released today by the Labor Department, last month saw a net loss of 467,000 jobs – 100,000 more than than economists had predicted.

Nationally, the unemployment rate currently stands at 9.5% – a 26-year high. That figure is also well above what the administration of U.S President Barack Obama predicted during the debate earlier this year over the massive $787 billion “bureaucratic bailout.”

The U.S. economy has shed 3.4 million jobs through the first half of 2009, and 6.5 million jobs over the last eighteen months.

In worse news, America’s “underemployment rate” – which counts the unemployed as well as part-time workers and people who have given up looking for full-time work – stands at 16.5% nationally, also a record high.