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  Not just Katrina: Job weakness spreading

    Payrolls grow after September's decline but the gains are disappointing; jobless rate eases to 5%. Job growth resumed in October but came in well below economists' forecasts, due to softness in the labor market nationwide, rather than disruptions from Hurricane Katrina. Employers added 56,000 to payrolls last month compared with a revised loss of 8,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported. Economists surveyed by were looking for 100,000 new jobs. The decline in September was the first drop in payrolls in more than two years. The unemployment rate edged down to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in September, in part because a large number of people weren't counted as part of the labor force after the storms.
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