COLUMBUS (AFP) - President Barack Obama Friday pledged to take action, following stunning government data which showed the US economy shed 651,000 jobs in February to push the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent. "Just this morning we learned we lost another 651,000 jobs throughout the country in the month of Feb alone," Obama said. "It brings the total number of jobs lost in the recesion to an astounding 4.4m," Obama said, at a graduation ceremony for police cadets who had their jobs saved by investment from Obama's economic stimulus plan. "We have a responisbility to act and that is what I intend to do as President of the United States of America."