The Economy: Sixty-One Million Jobs

The thriving U.S. economy, now in its 54th consecutive month of advance, is creating new jobs faster than automation is eliminating old ones. In mid-August, the Labor Department reported last week, the number of Americans on nonagricultural payrolls reached an all-time high of 61.1 million, 334,000 more than in July. During the same period, total unemployment dropped by 350,-000 to 3,300,000, although the jobless rate remained at July's 4.5% — an eight-year low — because of a temporary decrease in the work force.

Labor Department officials expect slight declines in unemployment for the next several months but hold out little...

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