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The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent, stymieing the view that business activity is picking up momentum. The lower-than-expected non-farm payrolls number broke a several-month streak of job growth above 200,000.
June and July data, released Friday by the Labor Department, were revised to show 28,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported, lending the weaker tone. In addition, manufacturing saw no job growth and retail payrolls declined for the first time since February. Economists had expected payrolls to increase 225,000 in August and the unemployment rate to fall to 6.1 percent. The surprise slowdown in job growth is at odds with labor market indicators such as first-time applications for unemployment benefits, which are hovering near their pre-recession levels.
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-- By Reuters and NBC News staff