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US jobless claims rise slightly, labour market improving

Published on Jul 3, 2014 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in June as the economy pumped out a much better-than-expected 288,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department said Thursday.

With new jobs figures for the two prior months revised upward by 29,000 extra jobs, the data provided a picture of a solidly growing economy.  Job creation has averaged 231,000 a month since January, the best six months since the end of the 2008-2009 recession.

Down from 6.3 percent in May, and 7.5 percent a year ago, the unemployment rate was at its lowest level since September 2008.

Jobs gains were broad-based across industries, with a surge as well in government hiring, a sector that has overall continued to pare jobs since the economic crisis.

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