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The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment increased by 162,000 jobs in July following a downwardly revised increase of 188,000 jobs in June.
Economists had expected employment to increase by about 175,000 jobs compared to the addition of 195,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dipped to 7.4 percent in July from 7.6 percent in June. The unemployment rate had been expected to edge down to 7.5 percent.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 7.3 percent in December of 2008.
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