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U.S. Shed Jobs in July

The U.S. lost 131,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained largely unchanged at 9.5 percent, according to a report released Friday by the Labor Department.

Private-sector payroll employment edged up slightly, by 71,000 jobs, but that was more than offset by the loss of 143,000 government census workers completing temporary assignments.

The jobs report was weaker than many economists expected, and it was the second consecutive month the loss of temporary U.S. Census jobs has been cited as a factor in employment numbers.

The June unemployment report was mixed. While the jobless rate fell to 9.5 from 9.7 percent, the economy shed 125,000 jobs.

Republicans quickly pounced on the new numbers, citing them as proof that President Barack Obama’s economic policies are not working.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) issued a statement minutes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the numbers, calling the jobs report “disappointing.”

“The policies originating from this White House are creating an environment of uncertainty and fear for business people and employees, preventing investment and hiring,” Cantor said in the statement.

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