Department of Labor releases December employment numbers

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The unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 7.2 percent last month, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

Payroll employment fell by 524,000 during the month and by 1.9 million in the last four months of 2008. In December, job losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors, according to the government.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed has grown by 3.6 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points.

Click here to see the full report from the Department of Labor.

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