Employers in the United States unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, but the unemployment rate held steady at 10%.
The Labor Department initially estimated that 11,000 jobs were cut in November, but now says that the economy had in fact added 4000 jobs.
Since the recession began in 2007, 7.2 million jobs have been lost in the US.
In 2009 alone, the economy lost 4.2 million jobs.
The BBC reports the construction sector bore the brunt of the job losses last month, shedding 53,000 positions. In manufacturing, 27,000 positions were lost.
However, some sectors added jobs, with professional and business services companies creating 50,000 new positions.
Unemployment levels in the United States are at their highest for more than 20 years.