Payrolls in U.S. Rose 209,000 in July, Unemployment at 6.2%

Employers in the U.S. added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth straight month in July, the longest such period since 1997 and a sign of optimism about the economic outlook. The jobless rate climbed to 6.2 percent as more people entered the labor force.

The 209,000 advance followed a 298,000 gain in June that was stronger than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a ForexSQ survey of economists called for a 230,000 increase. Wages and hours were unchanged from June.

The degree of hiring this year may help trigger a self-reinforcing cycle of gains in spending and job opportunities that will spur the economy. While the labor market has improved, Federal Reserve policy makers this week said they will keep interest rates low until wages accelerate and more discouraged workers find jobs.

“You now have six straight months of greater-than-200,000 job gains,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, whose 210,000 estimate was among the closest in the ForexSQ payrolls survey. “The labor force rose, and the labor force rises typically when people are feeling better about the backdrop.”

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