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Nonfarm payrolls grew by 94,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was 4.0%, up from 3.9% in October, the Labor Department said this morning. This latest report gives further confirmation that the pace of economic growth is slowing.

The consensus estimate, according to economist polled by


, was for payroll growth of 140,000 and for the unemployment rate to lift to 4.0%.

The market has been looking for confirmation that job growth is slowing, evidence that started to appear in weekly

initial jobless claims, which have increased in recent weeks. The four-week, moving average of initial jobless claims stood at 345,000 most recently, the highest level in a year-and-a-half.

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With the stock market slipping day by day because of slowing growth, there's hope among investors that the

Federal Reserve will soon respond and cut short-term interest rates to stop a slowdown and spur growth. But the labor markets have remained tight, which has kept the Fed from stepping away from concerns that inflation is still a problem. These concerns, however, are expected to change when the Fed next meets on December 19.

Average hourly earnings

, the report's measure of wage inflation, rose 0.4% in November. The weekly workweek was 34.3 hours.

wrote a

separate story that analyzed what the jobs report would say about the economy.