Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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US hiring picked up in July; so did unemployment

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The U.S. economy generated 163,000 jobs in July after three months of weak hiring, a sign it is resilient enough to pull out of a midyear slump and grow modestly as the rest of the world slows down.

But employers aren't hiring enough to drive down the unemployment rate, which ticked up to 8.3 percent last month from 8.2 percent in June â¿¿ the 42nd straight month the jobless rate has exceeded 8 percent. The United States remains stuck with the weakest economic recovery since World War II.

The latest job numbers, released Friday by the Labor Department, provided fodder both for President Barack Obama, who highlighted improved hiring in the private sector, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who pointed toward higher unemployment.

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Stocks soar on surprisingly strong July job report

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ A surge in hiring last month got a big welcome on Wall Street Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 217.29 points to close at 13,096.17, ending a four-day losing streak. It was the best day for the Dow since June 29.

Markets had been slumping all week after central banks in the U.S and Europe took no new action to shore up the economy, as investors had hoped.

The Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report gave investors assurance that the U.S. economy may be doing better on its own. U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs last month, far more than the 100,000 economists were expecting. From April through June, the economy added an average of just 73,000 jobs a month, compared with an average of 226,000 in the first three months of the year.

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Oil surges 5 percent on strong jobs growth

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The price of oil posted its biggest gain in more than month, jumping nearly 5 percent, after the government reported a sharp rise in jobs growth for July.

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