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For the first time in six months, the federal unemployment report to be released Friday will likely show a net loss of jobs.

But hold off on the panic button.

It’s true that employers are expected to have cut more than 100,000 jobs in June. But that figure, if accurate, will be deceptive. It will reflect the end of up to 250,000 temporary census jobs. The real focus Friday will be on how many net jobs private employers created.

“People are looking past the census effect,” said Alec Phillips, an economist at Goldman Sachs.

Analysts predict private businesses added 112,000 jobs in June, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. That would be a healthy rebound from May’s 41,000 gain. But it’s far from enough to signal a roaring recovery or rapidly reduce the unemployment rate, now at 9.7 percent. It would take a net gain of around 200,000 jobs a month to quickly reduce that rate.

The plunge in census jobs comes just a month after the government added nearly a half-million people to conduct door-to-door visits and other tasks. The census began hiring more workers last year. It added about 500,000 this spring.

The rapid switch from hiring to firing reflects the short-term nature of census jobs. Most are part time and last six to eight weeks.

ALABAMA

Candidate denies falsifying record

MONTGOMERY | A Republican candidate for governor in Alabama is facing criticism over a campaign ad about his military record during the Vietnam War.

In the ad, Robert Bentley talks about seeing military personnel injured in Vietnam, and the words “Hospital Commander Vietnam War” are shown on a military aircraft.

But Mr. Bentley didn’t serve overseas. He was an interim commander at the hospital at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.

Mr. Bentley said Wednesday he often saw patients at nearby Fort Bragg, where some injured soldiers from Vietnam were treated. He says the ad is not a distortion.

In Connecticut recently, Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal admitted he misspoke about his military service by saying he served in Vietnam when he actually served stateside.

JUSTICE

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