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All of the anticipated job gains are expected to have been generated by the private sector and would add to other data suggesting that the manufacturing-driven recovery is now spreading to other sectors of the economy.
Still, the employment gains would be insufficient to prevent the jobless rate from edging up to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent in November and too slim to discourage the Federal Reserve from completing its $600 billion government bond-buying program to support the economy.
but said "it will be several years before the unemployment rate has returned to a more normal level."
"We have a lot of workers on the sidelines. They will come back it when the labor market recovers," said Stephen Bronars, senior economist at Welch Consulting in Washington. "The effect is that the unemployment rate is going to stay above a level we would consider acceptable for a longer period of time."