09/02/2014 09:31 AST

U.S. manufacturing stayed on solid ground in January, with employers stepping up hiring by adding 21,000 jobs to their payrolls and boosting their labor market share.

January's job gains marked the sixth straight month of increases in a sector that accounts for about 12 percent of the economy. They came despite a survey early this week signaling a sharp slowdown in factory activity and job creation in January.

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Reuters

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