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Unemployment rate falls as economy adds 200K jobs

WASHINGTON — A burst of hiring in December pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level in nearly three years, giving the economy a boost at the end of 2011.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

A construction worker directs a steel hoist at the foundation of a new condo complex in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday. A burst of hiring in December pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level...

 

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