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U.S. Economy Loses Steam, Adding Only 20,000 Jobs Last Month


Nate Poort works on braizing loops together for transformers at RoMan Manufacturing in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Dec. 12, 2018.

Nate Poort works on braizing loops together for transformers at RoMan Manufacturing in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Dec. 12, 2018.

Reuters, Rebecca Cook

The U.S. economy added only 20,000 jobs jobs — far less than expected — last month, the Labor Department said Friday. But the unemployment rate fell from January’s 4 percent and earnings growth picked up steam.

The increase in jobs was below the 180,000 projected by private analysts and the smallest gain since September 2017. February’s was dramatically smaller than January’s revised increase of 311,000 and December’s revised 227,000.

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