By  on February 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — The fashion industry, jittery about the faltering economy, cut payrolls across the manufacturing and retail sectors last month as the overall employment picture worsened and fears of a recession deepened.

Posting the biggest employment drop in more than four years, employers slashed a seasonally adjusted 17,000 jobs in January, a worse-than-expected showing, according to the Labor Department. The jobless rate slid to 4.9 percent last month from 5 percent, which some economists said was statistically negligible or simply a correction after the sharp jump in December to 5 percent from 4.7 percent.

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