Employers in July hired the most workers in five months, but an increase in the jobless rate to 8.3 percent muddled the near-term outlook for monetary policy.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, beating economists’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 100,000 gain. That snapped three straight months of job gains below 100,000 and offered hope for the struggling economy.
However, the unemployment rate rose from 8.2 percent in June, even as more people gave up the search for work and a survey of households showed a drop in employment.
The closely watched employment report comes two days after the Federal Reserve sent a stronger signal that a new round of major support could be on the way if the faltering recovery does not pick up.
Most economists had expected the Fed would launch a third round of bond purchases, possibly at its next policy meeting on September 12-13. But the mixed employment report has muddied the picture a bit.
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