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Payrolls increased 528,000 in July, much better than expected in a sign of strength for jobs market

Hiring in July was far better than expected, defying signs that the economic recovery is losing steam, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 528,000 for the month and the unemployment rate was 3.5%, easily topping the Dow Jones estimates of 258,000 and 3.6% respectively.

Wage growth also surged higher, as average earning earnings jumped 0.5% for the month and 5.2% from the same time a year ago. Those numbers add fuel to an inflation picture that already has consumer prices rising at their fastest rate since the early 1980s.

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