WASHINGTON – The U.S. added 287,000 new jobs in June, marking the biggest increase since last fall and offering reassurance that the economy has rebounded after a soft patch earlier in the year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted an increase of 170,000 nonfarm jobs, including about 35,000 Verizon employees returning to work after a lengthy strike. The unemployment rate rose to 4.9% from 4.7% as more people entered the labor force in search of work. The labor-force participation edged up a tick to 62.7%, the government said Friday. Average hourly wages rose 0.1% to $25.61. Hourly pay increased 2.6% from June 2015 to June 2016, matching the highest level of the recovery. Employment gains for May and April, meanwhile, were little changed. The government said a meager 11,000 new jobs were created in May instead of 38,000. April's gain was raised to 144,000 from 123,000, however.
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