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The U.S. lost 598,000 jobs in January — including 8,600 department store positions — in the worst monthly decline in 34 years. Among the retailers hardest hit were Target, Saks, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne and Bon-Ton. Eddie Bauer, Chico’s, Pacific Sunwear and The Wet Seal also reported less severe, yet substantial layoffs. According to Fashionista: "This news comes right on the heels of yesterday’s department store news, that the S&P’s Ratings Services has placed six department stores - Dillard’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney and Sears - on credit watch." [WWD via Fashionista]