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President Obama got unexpected good news this morning (Aug. 3): the Labor Department said the nation added 163,000 nonfarm jobs in July, the highest monthly growth since February. Economists had expected 100,000. However, the unemployment rate rose to 8.3% from 8.2% the previous month, probably reflecting a rise in the workforce, as more people sought jobs. Average hourly wages rose by 2 cents. Over the last year, wages have risen 1.7%, matching the inflation rate.

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