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Unemployment rate unchanged at 5.3 percent

The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July, according to government data released Friday, providing more evidence of an economy that is slowly but steadily returning to normal.

The job market continued its positive swing in July with 215,000 positions added, according to government data released Friday, providing more evidence of an economy that is slowly but steadily returning to normal.

The Department of Labor reported that hiring was strongest in the retail and health care sectors, while the mining industry continued to shed jobs, according to the Washington Post. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month at 5.3 percent.

The report showed that hiring came in just shy of analysts’ expectations, and there was little in the details of the data to be concerned about. Wages nudged up in July, and workers logged more hours. The labor force expanded slightly, and teenage unemployment dropped.

“I think it’s a sign of progress that we’re seeing decent job gains every month,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. “Boring is good.”

Markets opened slightly lower on the jobs numbers Friday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial average down 0.2 percent and the Standard & Poor's index down 0.8 percent.

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