TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Department of Labor reports that the state’s unemployment rate in January was the worst in more than 25 years.

A slowing economy caused unemployment to spike at 6.4 percent, the department reported Wednesday. Agency spokeswoman Kathy Toelkes (TOHL’-kuhs) said it hasn’t been that high since June 1983.

The department also said the number of Kansans who filed their first claims for unemployment benefits in January was more than double the number in January 2008.

The agency said unemployment normally rises from December to January because of the end of holiday season jobs and other seasonal factors.

But the jump this year was unusually high. It was 1.5 percentage points, up from 4.9 percent in December.

And the jobless rate for January 2008 was only 4.3 percent.

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