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Unemployment stays at 7.6 percent

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6 percent as 195,000 jobs were added in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, health care and financial activities, the government reported.

The results surpassed expectations. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast that non-farm payrolls would rise by 160,000. U.S. employers have been adding an average of 182,000 jobs each month during the last year, the Labor Department said.

The leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs in June, with 75,000.

The job growth for the last three months raises hopes for a stronger economy in the second half of 2013, according to The Associated Press. The unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent in June because more people started looking for work — a healthy sign. Once people start looking for jobs, the government counts them as unemployed.

Pay also rose in June, the Labor Department's monthly jobs report showed. Pay has now outpaced inflation over the past year.

Stock index futures rose shortly after the report was released at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The yield on the 10-year treasury note increased from 2.56 to 2.65 percent, a sign that investors think the economy is improving, according to the AP.

If growth accelerates and unemployment falls, the Federal Reserve could scale back its bond purchases before the year ends. The bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low.

Click here for analysis by The New York Times.

Click here for a report by Reuters.

Click here for the Bureau of Labor release.

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