US created 209,000 jobs in July, vs 183,000 jobs expected

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By Jeff Cox

The U.S. economy continued a strong summer, adding 209,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest since March 2001, according to a government report Friday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected the report to show growth of 183,000; the unemployment rate met expectations. A more encompassing rate that includes discouraged workers and the underemployed was unchanged at 8.6 percent.

The number of employed Americans hit a new high of 153.5 million thanks to a surge of 345,000. The employment-to-population ratio also moved up to 60.2 percent, tied for the highest level since February 2009.

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