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Republican Recession Watch: Unemployment Goes Through The Roof

This is surely another gift for John Sidney McCain.

The American unemployment rate surged to 5.5 percent last month, the government said on Friday, the biggest increase in more than two decades. The report was the latestsign that workers face a darker outlook even as they struggle to cope with the housing slump and high energy prices that have cut into their spending power.

Employers also shed 49,000 jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement. Payrolls have shrunk every month this year, the worst losing streak since 2003. Manufacturers, construction companies and the retail sector were the hardest hit, as businesses struggled with lower demand and looked to cut costs.