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Unemployment rate unchanged as 36K jobs lost

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent in February as employers shed 36,000 jobs, fewer than expected. The figures suggested the job market is slowly healing but that significant hiring has yet to occur.

The Labor Department said it wouldn't quantify how the snowstorms that hammered the East Coast last month affected job losses. Some data in the report signaled the storms didn't reduce payrolls as much as had been feared.

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