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US jobless rate falls to 5.5%
06 Mar 2015 15:03
The US economy created a strong 295,000 net new jobs in February despite some severe weather disruptions and mounting layoffs in the oil industry, the Labor Department said today.
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The better-than-expected jobs number sent the unemployment rate down to 5.5% from 5.7% previously.
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Hiring was strong in US restaurants, health care, and administrative services, and steady in construction and retail trade.
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The oil and gas industry, just beginning to cut back in the face of the crash of crude prices, shed about 8,500 jobs.
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The fall in the US unemployment rate to 5.5%, based on the often volatile household employment survey, reflected as much a surge in the number of dropouts from the labour force as it did new jobs creation.
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The overall rate of participation in the workforce - closely eyed for signs of a sustained pickup in hiring - was barely changed at 62.8%.
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