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Jobs: How bad will it get?

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The economy lost over half a million jobs in December and shed the greatest number of workers in 2008 since the end of World War II. The grim news didn’t stop there: the unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent, the highest in 16 years. Many analysts say it will only get worse before it gets better.

“The job situation is ugly and is going to get uglier. There’s no reason to expect hiring anytime in the next three to six months,” said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York. Tempus Consulting’s Matt Esteve agrees. “No matter how you look at it, those are dismal numbers,” he said.

How does all this make you feel about the nation’s economy and your own personal job and financial situation? More importantly, how is the economic environment making you change your behavior?

On the wider stage, do you think the dire unemployment picture will be President George W. Bush’s legacy and will it get better under President-elect Barack Obama?

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