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There was no big surprise in the jobs information released this morning. Most of the figures were consistent with a slightly softening economy. The week's most important economic report showed that December unemployment remained at four percent, the same as November. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 105,000.
These figures are very close to the expected unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and payroll figure of 110,000. The manufacturing sector lost 62,000 jobs, while service industries added 183,000.
Weekly unemployment claims rose a seasonally adjusted 16,000 to 385,000 last week. The previous week's estimated figures were also revised from the original figure of 333,000 to 359,000. Most job losses were in cyclical sectors of manufacturing in the "heartland" of the country.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, while expectations were in the 0.3 percent area. This figure is watched closely for signs of inflation.