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The government says the nation's unemployment rate dipped in December by one-tenth of one percent to four-point-nine percent.

The report also indicates that growth in payrolls was not up to hopes.

The Labor Department says 108-thousand jobs were added in December, about half of what was expected. Among the revisions
issued to earlier reports, there's word that November payrolls
expanded by more than 300-thousand, higher than earlier reported.

The decline in the jobless rate reflects the fact that some Americans left the labor market for any number of reasons.

With December's numbers now in, the economy added about two (m)
million jobs last year.