By  on February 6, 2009

WASHINGTON — The U.S. lost 598,000 jobs in January — including 8,600 department store positions —  in the worst monthly decline in 34 years.

The economy has shed a total of 3.6 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007, with close to half of those evaporating in the three months since November 2008, the Labor Department said Friday. Unemployment rose to 7.6 percent from 7.2 percent last month. Losses were widespread across all industries.

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