Unemployment falls to lowest level since before coronavirus pandemic

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Hiring around the U.S. remained subdued in January as employers added a modest 49,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday. But revised data showed that job losses were worse in December than previously reported. 

The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3% as people found new jobs and others dropped out of the labor force, meaning they were no longer counted as unemployed. That is the lowest rate since February, before the coronavirus erupted, when unemployment was at 3.5%.

Professional and business services led the gains, adding 97,000 jobs last month concentrated in temp firms. The gains were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, which lost 61,000 jobs. Retail trade and health care and social assistance each lost about 40,000 jobs.

This is a developing story.

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