WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal job discrimination complaints against private employers surged to record numbers last year.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it received more than 95,000 discrimination claims during the 2008 fiscal year. That’s a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

Charges of age discrimination jumped by 28.7 percent, the largest increase of any category.

Claims based on race, sex and retaliation were the charges filed most frequently.

The commission’s acting chairman, Stuart Ishimaru, says the numbers show employment discrimination remains a persistent problem.

The agency says the surge may be due to economic conditions, increased diversity in the work force and greater awareness of the law.

AP-ES-03-11-09 1531EDT

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