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The nation’s payrolls grew less than expected. Nonetheless, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent, the lowest rate in four years, according to today’s Jobs Picture by Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute. Despite the low jobless rate, wage growth for most workers continue to lag inflation, and the share of the long-term unemployed (jobless for at least half-a-year) grew to 19.2 percent.
A graphic in today’s Jobs Picture compares the current trend in job growth with the trend in the previous recovery, revealing notably slower and choppier job growth in the current period.