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Jobs report has mixed results

People filling out employment forms at a job fair.

People filling out employment forms at a job fair.

POLITICO reports the economy added fewer jobs than expected last month, and more Americans have stopped looking for work — a disappointing development that comes as many economists have expressed optimism that the economic recovery is gaining momentum.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the economy added 74,000 jobs in December while unemployment fell to 6.7 percent.

The number of jobs added fell far short of expectations — most analysts had predicted job growth of about 200,000, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Analysts cautioned against reading too much into the surprisingly low payroll figures, predicting that the number of jobs added in December will likely be revised up in the coming months and that harsh weather conditions were partly to blame. MORE …