By Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post
The U.S. economy added a disappointing 169,000 jobs last month, according to government data released Friday, a grinding pace that could alter the Federal Reserve’s plans to pull back on its stimulus program.
The Labor Department’s monthly estimate of hiring was weaker than many analysts had expected and offered little clarity about the direction of the economy. Although the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.3 percent, the drop was the result of people leaving the work force. The report marked the lowest labor force participation rate since 1978.
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