WASHINGTON – The U.S. added 255,000 jobs in July, a second straight strong gain that shows the economy is still quite healthy despite somewhat slower growth. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted 185,000 new nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9%. The labor-force participation rate edged up to 62.8%, as more than 400,000 people joined the labor force, the government said Friday. Average hourly wages rose 0.3% to $25.69. Hourly pay increased 2.6% from July 2015 to July 2016. Employment gains for June and May, meanwhile, were revised up by a combined 18,000. The government said 292,000 new jobs were created in June instead of 287,000. May's gain was raised to 24,000 from 11,000.
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