The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm payroll employment increased by only 113,000 jobs last month, as severe winter weather took a toll on hiring.
Nevertheless, the unemployment rate dipped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.6 percent, as more workers dropped out of the labor force. On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, leaving an estimated 1.7 million of the long-term unemployed without jobless benefits.
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