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Unemployment rate dips to 3.4% as 517,000 jobs added in January

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(WASHINGTON) — U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs to their payrolls in January, the latest figures released Friday by the Labor Department show.

The number of jobs added far exceeded what economists had expected and is more than double the amount added in December — 223,000.

The biggest gains in employment last month occurred in leisure and hospitality (128,000), professional and business services (82,000), government (74,000) and health care (58,000).

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped slightly to 3.4%, marking a 50-year low.

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