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November job gains, 203,000; jobless rate now 7.0%

November job gains, 203,000; jobless rate now 7.0%

Employers added a better-than-expected 203,000 jobs in November, continuing a solid string of payroll gains and offering further evidence of a strengthening economic recovery.

The unemployment rate fell to 7% from 7.3%, the lowest in five years, the Labor Department said Friday. Unemployment rose in October because the federal government furloughed about 450,000 workers during the 16-day shutdown. The jobless rate, in turn, was expected to fall in November as those employees were back at work.

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