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US economy creates 163,000 jobs, shielding Obama

Published on Aug 4, 2012 6:01 AM
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida on August 2, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US economy created a solid 163,000 jobs in July, official data showed on Friday, helping President Barack Obama dull Republican attacks despite a slight uptick in the jobless rate.

The Labour Department said unemployment rose 0.1 points to 8.3 per cent, in a monthly report that was nevertheless heralded as evidence that the world's largest economy is still on track.

Economists had predicted a much more modest creation of 100,000 jobs during July, after a weak increase of 64,000 in June.

"Finally, we have some good news on the employment front," said Mr Nigel Gault, an economist with IHS Global Insight. "The report will alleviate fears that the United States (US) might be tipping back into recession."

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