Taper trouble? US jobs shock poses problem for Yellen

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The US added far fewer jobs than expected in December, according to latest payroll data, with the disappointing numbers partially blamed on bad weather.

According to the December data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), total non-farm payroll employment edged up by 74,000, much less than the consensus expectation of an additional 196,000 jobs, and the slowest pace of growth since January 2011. The US unemployment rate declined from 7% to 6.7% over the month, against a consensus forecast of 7%. This is the lowest figure since October 2008 - but the latest fall is partly down to a large number of workers dropping out of the labour force altogether. The BLS suggested the unusually cold weather seen in the US in December could hav...

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