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US jobs a rare bright spot in economic gloom


US jobs a rare bright spot in economic gloom


Fears of a recession in the US receded slightly on Friday with the release of positive jobs figures.

In July the total number of Americans in work increased by a better-than-expected 117,000.

President Barack Obama said more job growth is needed and predicted the situation will improve but it will take time and political cooperation: “If we want our businesses to have the confidence they need to get the cash off the sidelines and invest and hire, then we’ve got to do better than that. We’ve got to be able to work together to grow the economy right now and strengthen our long-term finances.”

While private employers showed a renewed appetite to hire last month, there are worries their enthusiasm might have been dampened by the ugly fight between Democrats and Republicans during talks to raise the country’s debt ceiling. Analysts fear this could hamper job growth in August.

The private sector accounted for all the jobs created in July, with business payrolls rising 154,000. The government laid off 37,000 people, its ninth straight monthly decline.

The US unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent of the workforce from 9.2 percent in June though experts believe that was mostly due to people giving up on looking for jobs.

“This shows that the U.S. economy is not dead yet. We have potential to get back on track with moderate growth to a strong recovery next year,” said Kurt Karl, head of economic research and consulting at Swiss Re in New York.

The payrolls count for May and June was revised to show 56,000 more jobs were added in those months than previously reported.

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