+220000 Jobs in June; Record 153168000 Employed

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USA 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 unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 4.4% from 4.3%, while the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.8% from 62.7% during the month. As more workers begin looking for jobs, that can push the unemployment rate higher.

The government said job gains during the past three months have averaged 194,000, and it revised the April and May job totals upward by a total of 47,000.

The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings rose by 0.2% to USD26.25.

Eight years after the Great Recession ended, the economy is steadily churning out jobs, and the unemployment rate lingers near a 16-year low. A typical American in the 25-to-34 age range earned $34,800 in 2016, according to the Census Bureau.

Economists do caution that predictions by President Donald Trump's administration of GDP growth of 3 to 4 percent don't reflect current economic reality.

The numbers signal that economic growth should be decent, if not robust, through 2017, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

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Eating contests have become popular in the U.S. and various forms are held across the country throughout the year. In the women's contest, Miki Sudo (MIHK'-ee SOO'-doh) won her fourth yellow mustard belt.

"While the unemployment rates for workers of colour remain far higher than for white non-Hispanic workers, the black unemployment rate has been falling faster than overall unemployment over the previous year", she said in a statement.

And some businesses have decided they can't raise prices enough to afford meaningful pay raises.

To get higher than the middle of that range, economists say, will take legislative action on tax cuts and infrastructure spending that, so far, has been absent. So to offset the cost of leaving wages untouched, many employers have withheld raises as the economy has improved. The less volatile four-week average rose 750 to 243,000. It was last at 113.88, up 0.6 percent.The euro, on the other hand, rose to around $1.1430, from $1.1411 ahead of the jobs report, and was last at $1.1395, down 0.2 percent.

The 160,145,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.8 percent of the 254,957,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

- Further tightening of the labor market will boost the growth of wages and salaries over the next two years.

"With only one more rate hike expected this year, investors should turn their attention to the Fed, which will soon attempt to shrink its behemoth $4.5 trillion balance sheet".