Nationwide unemployment hit highest mark in quarter century - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Nationwide unemployment hit highest mark in quarter century

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Stocks openued up Friday morning, despite a report showing massive job losses in February and an unemployment rate at 8.1 percent, the highest since 1983.

The Labor Department said Friday employers cut 651,00 jobs last month. It also upwardly revised its December and January job loss figures to 681,000 and 655,000, respectively.

The net loss of 651,000 jobs in February came after even deeper payroll reductions in the prior two months, according to revised figures. The economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and another 655,000 in January.

That's a total of nearly 2 million job losses, nationwide, in the past three months.

The top Republican in the House is seizing on the latest spike in unemployment to call for a freeze on government spending and to urge President Barack Obama to veto a $410 billion spending bill.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the jump in unemployment to 8.1 percent and the loss of 651,000 jobs in February is a sign of a worsening recession that demands better solutions from both parties.

Boehner criticized the spending bill as chocked full of wasteful, pork barrel projects. The Senate postponed a vote on the bill until Monday amid the criticism.

Boehner said he hoped Obama would veto the bill. He urged the president to work with House Republicans to impose a spending freeze until the end of this fiscal year.

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