Friday, January 8, 2010

U.S. employers slash 85,000 jobs in December

U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, government data showed on Friday, cooling optimism on the labor market's recovery and keeping pressure on President Barack Obama.

KEY POINTS: * The Labor Department said November payrolls were revised to show the economy actually added 4,000 jobs in that month rather than losing 11,000 as initially reported. With revisions to October, however, the economy lost 1,000 more jobs than previously estimated over the two months. * The unemployment rate was unchanged at 10 percent in December.* Analysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to be unchanged last month and the unemployment rate to edge up to 10.1 percent. * High unemployment is one of the toughest domestic challenges facing Obama. The administration's success in getting people back to work will shape prospects for Obama's own political future.

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