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U.S. job growth through March revised down- BLS

WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy likely created 166,000 fewer jobs in the 12 months through March than previously estimated, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday.

The reading is a preliminary estimate of the BLS’ annual “benchmark” revision to closely watched payrolls data.

Once a year, the BLS compares its non-farm payrolls data, based on monthly surveys of a sample of employers, with a much more complete database of unemployment insurance tax records.

A final benchmark revision will be released in February along with the BLS’ report on employment for January. Government statisticians will use the final benchmark count to revise payroll data for months both prior to and after March. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani)

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