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WASHINGTON, DC— Today’s report showed a loss of 159,000 jobs, the ninth consecutive month of job losses. The number of unemployed Americans rose to 9.5 million, and the number of workers unemployed for over six months rose to 2 million (an increase of 728,000 over the past year). Anthony Coley, spokesman for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement:

“Today’s job numbers show the painful toll this crisis is taking on hard-working families. Democrats are fighting to help the millions of Americans who can’t find work — especially the 800,000 whose unemployment benefits are about to expire. Senator Kennedy believes that just as Congress has acted quickly to stabilize our financial markets, Congress must also help stabilize working families’ budgets. He urges his colleagues to support an immediate extension of unemployment benefits.”