U.S - 598,000 workers lose their jobs in January

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Ever since the recession began in December 2007, the U.S. economy has shed 3.6 million jobs.

The number of cuts by employers is the biggest for any single month since 1974, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate climbs to 7.6%.

Spooked by the deteriorating economy, businesses are continuing to shed jobs at an alarming pace, pushing the unemployment rate to 7.6%, its highest level in 16 years.

The government Friday gave its latest damage report: 598,000 jobs lost in January, the biggest for any single month since 1974.

And job losses for November and December were much worse than previously estimated, the Labor Department said, likely reflecting layoffs at smaller firms that are slower to report their data.

"The recession has deepened and we're in the worst part of it now," said Mickey Levy, chief economist at Bank of America in New York.

Many economists expect the job losses to continue for months to come and the unemployment rate to top 9% before improving.

latimes
 
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