Jobless rate jumps to 7.2%, average work week sinks to lowest ever on record.

From Washingtonpost.com today:

“The fine print of yesterday’s report from the Labor Department showed that a broader measure of joblessness — which includes people who are working part-time but would prefer a full-time job and people who want work but have given up looking — rose by nearly a full percentage point, to 13.5 percent.

The overall unemployment rate jumped from 6.8 percent in November, the Labor Department said. Employers cut 524,000 jobs last month, 2.6 million over the course of 2008. Companies not only slashed workers, but also cut back on hours for their remaining employees, to the shortest average workweek on record….”

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Biggest monthly jump in U.S. unemployment since 1986 happened this April

From Newsday.com: (found here.)

“The unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent, from 5 percent in April, the biggest monthly increase since 1986. The rise surprised economists, who were forecasting an uptick to 5.1 percent.

The economy lost 49,000 jobs across a spectrum of businesses, including construction, manufacturing, retail and temporary-help services, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employers have cut payrolls for five straight months, but the latest cuts weren’t as deep as the 60,000 analysts were bracing for.”

Also…

(found here) ….”Oil prices jumped more than $11, approaching a record $140 a barrel. Earlier in the day, the Department of Labor released a startling figure: The nation’s unemployment rate in May climbed from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, the biggest one-month jump since 1986.”