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Jobless Rate Jumps To 7.2 Percent In December

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama is calling the latest employment numbers a “stark reminder” of the need for action.

The Labor Department reported earlier today that the nation’s unemployment rate shot to 7.2 percent in December — the highest since early 1993.

Employers cut 524,000 jobs last month, underscoring the fallout from the deepening recession.

Among the hardest hit is the construction sector, where unemployment stands at 15.3 percent with more than 1.4 million construction workers without a job.

For all of 2008, the economy lost 2.6 million jobs — the most since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost.

KESQ News Team

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