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News In Brief

Unemployment drops below level of first Reagan days

With just a month to go before the national elections, the politically important unemployment rate dipped slightly in August to 7.4 percent of the civilian labor force while employment rose by 270,000 to 105.2 million.

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When Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the jobless rate was a notch higher, at 7.5 percent. The rate climed to 10.7 percent in November, 1982, at the depth of the long recession, and improved to 7.1 percent this June before rising slightly to about 7.5 percent in midsummer.