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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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US economy adds 195,000 jobs; unemployment 7.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. employers are sending a message of confidence in the economy â¿¿ hiring more workers, raising pay and making the job market appear strong enough for the Federal Reserve to slow its bond purchases as early as September.

The economy gained a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June because more people started looking for jobs â¿¿ a healthy sign â¿¿ and some didn't find them. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they're looking for work.

The Labor Department's report Friday pointed to a U.S. job market that's showing surprising resilience in the face of tax increases, federal spending cuts and economic weakness overseas. Employers have added an average 202,000 jobs for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six.

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Same-sex ruling has employers tweaking benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on same-sex marriage has private employers around the country scrambling to make sure their employee benefit plans comply with the law.

The impact of the decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is clear in the 13 states and the District of Columbia where gay marriage is currently legal or soon will be: Same-sex married couples must be treated the same as other spouses under federal laws governing tax, health care, pensions and other federal benefits.

But employee benefit experts say the effect of the ruling remains murky in the other 37 states. The court left intact another provision of the federal anti-gay marriage law that allows one state not to recognize a same-sex marriage performed elsewhere.

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