More bad news on jobs:

The economy added just 21,000 jobs last month, down sharply from January’s gain and far below the type of increase that was common in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.6 percent, the Labor Department reported, mostly because many people stopped looking for work, removing them from the government’s official count of the unemployed…

The problems showed up in nearly every corner of the labor market. Manufacturers cut jobs for the 43rd consecutive month. Hourly wages for most of the workforce rose just 3 cents, roughly at the rate of inflation. The average length of unemployment rose to 20.3 weeks, its highest level since 1984.

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