US added strong 292K jobs last month; jobless rate at 5 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — American employers added a strong 292,000 jobs in December, suggesting that the U.S. economy is so far defying global trends and growing at a solid pace.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained 5 percent for a third straight month. More Americans started looking for work, and most found jobs.

The government also said employers added a combined 50,000 more jobs in October and November than it had previously estimated. Hiring averaged 284,000 a month in the...

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