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WASHINGTON, DC-The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the US economy added 165,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5%. It was a better report than many had forecast, with projections of 145,000 jobs added widely circulated.

The various industries scrambled to make sense of the numbers, at least in terms of their particular sector. The International Council of Shopping Centers, for example, noted that U.S. shopping-center retail jobs rose by 33,000 — accounting for one-fifth of all the 165,000 jobs added in April. It also reported that another 38,000 people were hired by restaurants and bars, for a total that was slightly higher in this category than the Labor Department’s. No matter—it is clear retail is helping to drive the US economic bus. “The shopping center industry is a crucial driver of the economic recovery,” said ICSC President and CEO Michael P. Kercheval, in a prepared statement. “These numbers illustrate that retail and retail development is a major economic pillar.”

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