The economy created 223,000 new jobs in June, reflecting a pickup in hiring that's likely help boost U.S. growth in the second quarter. Yet wages were flat and job gains in the prior two months were reduced, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 225,000 nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 5.3% from 5.5% to mark the lowest level since the spring of 2008, but the decline stemmed from more than 400,000 people leaving the labor force. Employment gains for May and April were revised down by a combined 60,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The government said 254,000 new jobs were created in May instead of 280,000. April's gain was cut to 187,000 from 221,000.
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