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BLS: Unemployment Dips to 9.4 percent, 103,000 Jobs Added

The unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent in December after increasing in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The economy added 103,000 private sector jobs, less than the 297,000 positions predicted by the ADP National Employment Report.

The work force now counts 14.5 million unemployed people, a decrease of 556,000. The number of temporary workers and those who lost their jobs also decreased by 548,000 to 8.9 million.

However, the number of long-term unemployed people, those who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks, did not significantly change, remaining at 6.4 million and representing 44.3 percent of the unemployed pool. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons also did not change, remaining at 8.9 million.

The number of discouraged workers has also increased significantly since December 2009. There were 1.3 million discouraged workers in December 2010, an increase of 389,000 persons from the previous year. These people have stopped looking for work because they believe there are no jobs available for them.

The manufacturing sector saw a slight uptick in employment, with 10,000 jobs added. But that figure is not sufficient to reverse cumulative losses during the recession. The leisure and hospitality industry added the most positions, with 47,000 new workers in December.

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