BY JEFFREY SPARSHOTT AND JONATHAN HOUSE
WASHINGTON—U.S. job growth dampened as the summer got under way, with employers adding 162,000 jobs in July, once again led by lower-wage positions in the retail and food services industries.
The unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey, fell to 7.4%—its lowest level since December 2008—partly because the number of employed people rose, though some also dropped out of the labor force.
The Labor Department’s seasonally adjusted July payrolls figure, coupled with a downward revisions of 26,000 jobs in the prior two months, points to a recent pullback in the pace of hiring. For July, economists had predicted …
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