The American unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent in December, with the economy adding 148,000 new jobs during the final month of 2017, according to new numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. Employment gains occurred in health care, construction, and manufacturing. The number of long-term unemployed Americans (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.5 million; that population accounted for 22.9 percent of the unemployed. The December job gains bring the 2017 total to almost 2.1 million new jobs, down from over 2.2 million in 2016.
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