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US payrolls post surprise drop of 140,000 in December, the first decline since April as America’s labor-market struggles continue

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The US economy saw a surprise decline in payrolls in December as stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures extended the nation’s unemployment crisis into the new year.

American businesses shed 140,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The reading defies consensus economist estimates that foresaw 50,000 job additions, according to Bloomberg data. It’s also a sharp reversal from the 336,000 payrolls added in November.

The country’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7% in December, the agency said. That’s slightly lower than the median economist estimate of 6.8%. The rate’s pace of details ⇒

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