Unemployment in the U.S. was flat in February, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the report states, and the U.S. economy shed 36,000 jobs last month. The losses are significant, but as this report in The New York Times notes, they are fewer than expected and not nearly as severe as “the monthly losses of more than 650,000 jobs a year ago.” The highest number of jobs lost over the past two years on record with BLS is 779,000 in January 2009.

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