Job Losses Hit 3.6M; Unemployment at 7.6%

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 8:05 AM CST
In this Dec. 19, 2008 file photo, Johnny Jones takes an appraisal test for job placement opportunities at the Marina Del Rey WorkSource Center in Marina Del Rey, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
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(Newser) – Nonfarm payrolls plunged 598,000 in January, the Labor Department announced today, bringing the total job losses to 3.6 million since the recession began in December 2007. The drop was significantly worse than analysts anticipated, and the worst since December 1974, the Wall Street Journal reports. The jobless rate jumped to 7.6% for the month, a 16-year high. Included in the report were revisions showing that the US lost about 3 million jobs last year, up from the 2.6 million previously estimated.