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Strong June rebound signals job growth is solid again — but substantial raises remain elusive

A "now hiring" sign is displayed on the front entrance to a Staples store in New York City on June 2. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
A "now hiring" sign is displayed on the front entrance to a Staples store in New York City on June 2. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

With a strong rebound in job growth last month, the labor market is back on solid ground. But workers are still struggling to get the substantial wage gains they’ve been craving since the end of the recession, economists said.

Here are the highlights:

  • The economy added 222,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department said — the best performance since February and well above analyst expectations.
  • The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from May’s 16-year low, but because more people joined the labor force.
  • May’s job growth was revised up to 152,000, and April also was revised up, as part of a gain of 47,000 more total jobs for those two months than initially estimated.
  • Hourly wages continued their steady but slow recent growth, increasing 4 cents to $26.25.

"Hiring is back to where it has been throughout much of the 8-year-old economic expansion,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at financial information website Bankrate.com.

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