Economy adds fewer jobs than expected

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected in December, but the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 19 months as more people who still remain in the work force found employment.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 103,000 last month as private-sector employers added 113,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday. The November number was revised up significantly to show an increase of 71,000 jobs from a previous estimate of 39,000.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, fell to 9.4% last month, the lowest level since May 2009 and the biggest fall in more than a decade. Still, about 14.5 million people who would like to work can’t get a job.

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