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Unemployment Rises As U.S. Economy Slows

By John S. McClenahen Reflecting diminishing demand in a slowing economy, the U.S. unemployment rate edged up one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 4.0%. In September and October, the jobless rate had been at a 30-year low of 3.9%. "There is no doubt that the U.S. economy is slowing," proclaims Bruce Steinberg, chief economist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. And, he believes that today's jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- which also showed payrolls rising only 94,000 in November -- increases the odds that Alan Greenspan and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee may ease short-term interest rates as soon as Jan. 31, 2001.

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