US hiring likely strong for a 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists predict that federal employment data due out today will indicate that the economic recovery is finally building up a head of steam as it enters its sixth year.

A FactSet survey shows economists forecasting that employers added 215,000 jobs last month. If more than 200,000 workers were added in June, it would mark the fifth consecutive month of job gains at least that high.

Analysts predict that the unemployment rate will remain 6.3 percent for a third straight month. If the rate stays flat despite solid hiring, it will likely be because more people out of work began looking for jobs last month. The government counts people as unemployed only if they're actively seeking jobs.

Private payrolls provider ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 281,000 jobs in June. But the ADP numbers cover only private businesses.

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