Economy loses 85K jobs, unemployment rate steady

WASHINGTON -Lack of confidence in the economic recovery led employers to shed a more-than-expected 85,000 jobs in December even as the unemployment rate held at 10 percent. The rate would have been higher if more people had been looking for work instead of leaving the labor force because they can't find jobs.

The sharp drop in the work force - 661,000 fewer people - showed that more of the jobless are giving up on their search for work. Once people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted among the unemployed.