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US economy adds 195K jobs; unemployment 7.6 pct.

Monday - 7/8/2013, 2:44am  ET

In this June 21, 2013 photograph a sign seeking drivers is posted outside the Pearl, Miss., customer service center for Central Transport, a long haul transport trucking company. U.S. employers added a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The job growth raises hopes for a stronger economy in the second half of 2013. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers are sending a message of confidence in the economy -- hiring more workers, raising pay and making the job market appear strong enough for the Federal Reserve to slow its bond purchases as early as September.

The economy gained a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June because more people started looking for jobs -- a healthy sign -- and some didn't find them. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they're looking for work.

The Labor Department's report Friday pointed to a U.S. job market that's showing surprising resilience in the face of tax increases, federal spending cuts and economic weakness overseas. Employers have added an average 202,000 jobs for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six.

The job growth is being fueled in part by consumer spending and the housing recovery. Consumer confidence has reached a 5
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