Mixed Economic News – With A Vengeance

     (CN) – ExxonMobil on Thursday announced the highest fourth-quarter profits ever recorded by a U.S. corporation – $11.7 billion – as the U.S. Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy lost 17,000 jobs in January, the first such monthly decline in 4½ years. The mixed economic news featured another peculiarity of the U.S. economy: the government claimed that the unemployment actually declined in January – from 5 percent to 4.9 percent – because it stopped counting people who have given up looking for work.

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