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Sluggish Factory Sector Drives Up Jobless Rate National Unemployment Rises A Notch To 5.7 Percent

The nation’s unemployment rate crept up to 5.7 percent in July as continued weakness in manufacturing and construction slowed the creation of new jobs.

The Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment in July rose 0.1 percentage point from June’s 5.6 percent rate. It was the first advance since the jobless rate climbed to 5.8 percent last April and matched the 5.7 percent rate in May.

At the same time, the department said, non-farm businesses boosted their payrolls by a smaller-than-expected 55,000 in July after adding 250,000 new jobs a month earlier, even more than the initial estimate of 215,000.

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