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US jobs data points to improved hiring

Job seekers fill in application forms at a career fair in Los Angeles, California, on June 6, 2013
Job seekers fill in application forms at a career fair in Los Angeles, California, on June 6, 2013. Fresh data on private hiring and unemployment claims have pointed to a firmer US jobs market, two days before the government releases official June data.

Fresh data on private hiring and unemployment claims on Wednesday pointed to a firmer US jobs market, two days before the government releases official June data.

The ADP payrolls firm estimated that 188,000 private-sector jobs were generated in June, up from its May reading of 134,000 and above the 137,000 average for the March-May period, when the economy went through a dip.

Reversing a three-month slump, goods-producing industries added 27,000 jobs, while service businesses added 161,000, and construction continued to be a strong point in jobs creation.

Meanwhile the Labor Department said weekly new claims for unemployment compensation, a signal of the pace of layoffs, fell to 343,000 in the week ending June 29, 5,000 below the previous week and slightly below the four-week moving average of 345,500.

Together the fresh data "continue to signal no loss of momentum in the labor market," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.

On Friday, the Labor Department releases its estimates of jobs creation and unemployment for June.

In May the department reported a firm if not spectacular 175,000 net new jobs in the public and private sectors, with unemployment edging higher to 7.6 percent mainly due to a surge in people who had dropped out of the labor force returning to the market.

Analysts are forecasting the June numbers to come in roughly in line with May.

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