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Obama: Economy Likely to Shed Even More Jobs

U.S. President Barack Obama says the economy is in for a "difficult time" this year, and predicts still more jobs will be lost before the situation begins to improve.

He says Americans will have to mount "patient" and "persistent" efforts to create more jobs.

Mr. Obama spoke Thursday, a few hours after a report said the number of people collecting long-term unemployment benefits in the United States hit another record high last week.

The government report shows nearly 5.6 million people have been getting assistance for more than one week.

The number of new claims rose slightly last week by 8,000 to hit 652,000.

Economists say the figures mean it is taking laid-off workers longer to find new jobs.

A separate Commerce Department report says the U.S. economy shrank at a slightly faster pace than earlier estimated in the last few months of 2008.

Government experts now say the U.S. economy shrank at a 6.3 percent annual pace in the last quarter. Economists routinely revise growth figures as more complete data become available.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.