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Published: Friday, 1/9/2009

Obama: New layoffs show need for urgent action


WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama called latest report of U.S. job losses Friday a stark reminder of how urgently action is needed to revive the nation s staggering economy.

He spoke after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. unemployment rate surged to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years.

Obama noted that jobs were lost in all 12 months of 2008, and he called it the single worst year of job losses since World War II.

Today s jobs report only underscores the need to move with a sense of urgency and common purpose, said Obama.

He urged Congress to give its quick attention to his still-evolving economic stimulus plan, designed to create or save 3 million jobs at a cost of about $800 billion.

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