NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Employers slashed another 598,000 jobs off of U.S. payrolls in January, taking the unemployment rate up to 7.6%, according to the latest government reading on the nation's battered labor market.
The latest job loss is the worst since December 1974, and brings job losses to 1.8 million in just the last three months, or half of the 3.6 million jobs that have been lost since the beginning of 2008.
January's job loss was also worse than the forecast of a loss of 540,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Briefing.com
The rise in the unemployment rate also was worse than the 7.5% rate economists expected. The unemployment rate is now at its highest level since September, 1992.