US Employers Add 222K Jobs, Jobless Rate Rises To 4.4 Pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses are confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in May, which was a 16-year low. The rate rose because more Americans began looking for work, but not all found jobs.

Job gains for April and May were revised higher by 47,000. In the first six months of this year, hiring has averaged nearly 180,000 jobs a month. That’s only slightly below last year’s pace.

Yet even with the robust hiring, average hourly pay rose by just 2.5 percent from a year earlier. That’s below the 3.5 percent pace typical of a healthy economy.

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