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US Jobless Rate Hits 5.3 Percent


US Unemployment Falls to Seven-Year Low
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VIDEO: June was another good month for job growth, with the U.S. economy adding 223-thousand jobs — slightly below expectation but still strong enough to bring unemployment to its lowest level in seven years. VOA's Mil Arcega has more.

The U.S. economy had a net gain of 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.3 percent.

That is the lowest jobless rate since 2008; however, officials say the rate fell partly because more than 400,000 people gave up their job search and are therefore no longer counted as unemployed.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department says job gains were seen in business services, health care and the retail trade. Job losses continued in the mining sector, including the petroleum industry, which has been hit hard by falling oil prices.

The number of Americans out of work declined by 375,000, the Labor Department said, to 8.3 million. Another 6.5 million people want full-time jobs but can find only part-time work.

White House officials say the U.S. economy has had a net gain of 2.9 million jobs over the past year, and 12.8 million over the past five years.

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