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US jobless rate falls to 4.3 per cent, lowest rate in 16 years

WASHINGTON - Washington (dpa) - The United States unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.3 per cent in July, returning to the lowest level in 16 years, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The economy added some 209,000 jobs in July, down from a revised 231,000 the previous month. Jobs were added in food services, professional and business services and health care, the bureau said.

US President Donald Trump touted the progress as evidence of his efforts to attract employers and reduce regulation.

"Excellent Jobs Numbers just released - and I have only just begun," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Many job stifling regulations continue to fall. Movement back to USA!"

The jobless rate matched the 16-year low first reached in May. The US economy has been adding jobs for nine years as it recovers from the recession of 2008-09.

The jobless rate, which is based on a survey of households, ticked down slightly from 4.4 per cent in June. It means the number of unemployed people in the US is approximately 7 million, also little changed from the month before.

The rate was 4.9 per cent a year ago, and is down from an October 2009 peak of 10 per cent after the last recession in the US economy.

Wages also rose by an average of 9 cents per hour to 26.36 dollars per hour, continuing an increase in wages of about 2.5 per cent this year, as the employment situation continues to improve.

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