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September 06, 2013

Weak Jobs Report Adds to Uncertainty on Fed’s Next Move

A disappointing jobs report Friday raised doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will — or should — start pulling back on its stimulus program in a few weeks, as Wall Street has been expecting.

The Labor Department’s snapshot of the job market in August had several discouraging details underneath a relatively average headline number, including a large drop in the share of Americans who are either working or looking for work. This measure, known as the labor force participation rate, was at its lowest level since 1978.

Earlier estimates of job growth in July and June were also revised sharply downward, and hiring over the summer months was largely driven by low-wage sectors like retail, food services and health care.

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