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U.S. Gains 199,000 Jobs in December

Businesses confronted labor shortage and omicron

The U.S. created a lackluster 199,000 new jobs in December, signaling that persistent labor shortages and another major coronavirus outbreak are holding back the economy.

The U.S. jobless rate, meanwhile, slipped to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent and drifted to a new pandemic low. The rate stood at 3.5 percent right before the pandemic.

The household survey showed that 651,000 people found jobs in December after a 1.1 million gain in November. Fewer people also said they are unemployed. While the household poll is less reliable, sometimes it picks up changes in employment faster than the survey of businesses.

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