Record Number of Americans Employed in June

NEW YORK, July 7 (Reuters) - The dollar gained on Friday after a report showed the US economy created far more jobs than expected in June and previous months, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates at least one more time this year.

US employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses may be confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy.

Average hourly earnings, which are a key measure of potential inflation pressures and are closely watched by economists, were expected to rise 0.3% over the prior month and 2.6% over the prior year.

Ambulatory healthcare services added 26,000 jobs last month, while nursing and residential care facilities lost 1,200 jobs in June. That amounts to at least 50,000 fewer jobs than the industry's pre-recession high of 1.18 million jobs in May 2007, according to historical Labor Department data. Additionally, 72 percent of hiring managers polled in the CareerBuilder survey said they feel they have to start paying higher wages because the market has become increasingly competitive talent, with the majority saying this trend also applies to entry-level workers.

After release of the jobs data, USA short-term interest rate futures showed continued bets the Fed would raise interest rates in December. Hiring has averaged almost 180,000 jobs a month this year, only slightly below last year's pace.

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"Small business optimism has been flying high for months based on the expectation that Congress will cut taxes and reform health care", she said.

CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain around 4.3 percent by the end of 2017 and then drop further to 4.2 percent in early 2018. May's jobless rate was 4.3 percent. The mining sector added 8,000 jobs in June, adding to a total of 56,000 new jobs since reaching a recent low point in October 2016.

Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute noted that among worker groups the jobs report contained good news for African-Americans, for whom the jobless rate has tumbled to 7.1 per cent, down 1.5 points from the same month past year.

This has been a tough year for the retail industry. In Friday's report, BLS said the economy added 1,000 manufacturing jobs last month, for a total of 12,396,000. (Usually, the two tend to move in opposite directions.) There has been a general return of volatility to the stock market after months of steady, incremental gains.

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