The Nation's unemployment rate rises to highest in 16 years

WASHINGTON (AP) -The government says the Nation's unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest since early 1993, as employers slashed 524,000 jobs. The Labor Department's report underscores the terrible toll of the deepening recession and highlights the hard task President-elect Barack Obama faces in resuscitating the flat-lined economy. For all of 2008, the economy lost 2.6 million jobs. That was the most since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost, although the number of jobs in the U.S. has more than tripled since then.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)