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Economy Adds 163,000 Jobs

Wall Street Journal (08/03/12) Jeffrey Sparshott; Tom Barkley

Job growth picked up a bit in July, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 163,000, although the unemployment rate ticked higher to 8.3% in July from 8.2% in the previous month. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a gain of 95,000 in payrolls and an 8.2% jobless rate. June and May payroll numbers were revised with only a small net effect—June payrolls rose 64,000 compared with the initially reported 80,000, and May was up 87,000 versus an earlier estimate of 77,000.

The latest payroll numbers are encouraging after three months of weak job creation, but the figures still are not enough to lower the unemployment rate, and hiring remains well below the pace set at the start of the year.