WASHINGTON — Nonfarm payrolls shrank more than economists expected in July, losing 131,000 jobs, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5%, but economists attributed part of that apparent stability to the absence of idled workers who have abandoned their job hunts. Economists expected total payrolls to decline by 63,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate to expand to 9.6%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

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