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Jobless Rate Dips Amid Sluggish Jobs Growth

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Hiring slowed in October as employers faced more uncertainty over future economic growth. The U.S. Labor Department says the economy added 80,000 jobs last month, the fewest in four months.

At the Detroit Works office, WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting spoke with people hoping to find employment, including Detroiter Jericho Thomas who said he’s worried about how his past will impact his ability to get hired.

“I’ve been looking for a job for a year and a half now, really, because I’m a felon, though,” Thomas said.

“I’ve just come home from prison so it’s kinda hard for me to find a job right now. But I’m out here searching, every day,” he said, adding that he has had friends refer him to employers, but he isn’t getting any calls back.

WWJ and Fox 2 Business Editor Murray Feldman said the unemployment rate, based on these numbers, will not make a significant drop for some time.

“The Fed says the unemployment rate will not fall below 8 percent until 2014,” Feldman said. “It was 9.1 percent for the last two months. Now it has dropped to 9 percent, but it does appear that some people just stopped looking for work.”

Without more jobs, the fear is consumers will pare spending in the months ahead. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Feldman said the Labor Department did report some positive signs, including increased hourly earnings and more people finding work.

That’s encouraging to many in Detroit, including Edward Hamilton who recently moved to Michigan in search of a job.

“Factory work. I’m interested in machine work, such as a press operator or a brake machine man,” Hamilton said.

- Get more on the latest jobs report from CBS News –

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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