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U.S. job growth falters as cold weather grips nation

Posted: 01.21.2014

The surprisingly weak job growth figures reported by the Labor Department on Friday, however, could cause some discomfort at the Federal Reserve, which last month announced plans to scale back its massive monetary stimulus program.

Nonfarm payrolls rose only 74,000 in December, the smallest increase since January 2011 and well short of the 200,000 jobs or so that most economists had expected.

While the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.7 percent, its lowest level since October 2008, the decline mostly reflected people leaving the labor force.

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