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The unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, as employers took on more part-time workers.

The economy added 114,000 workers last month after a revised 142,000 gain in August that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 92 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 115,000. The jobless rate dropped from 8.1 percent and hourly earnings climbed more than forecast.

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