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June Jobless Rate Expected To Stay Around 7.6 Percent

The Labor Department will release the unemployment report for June at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday. Economists expect employers added 165,000 new jobs last month. That's about the same number added in May.

Some economists say the unemployment rate, which inched up in May to 7.6 percent, will stay at the same level for June. Others predict it will inch down to 7.5 percent.

As of this month, it has been four years since the economic recovery began.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi tells Morning Edition host Renee Montagne that the level of job growth has been enough to offset population growth and put some people back to work.

But there are concerns that times are getting harder for the long-term unemployed.

"States are pairing back emergency unemployment benefits, in part, because of the sequester," Noguchi says.

But despite the automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration, hiring has been steady and that pace is expected to continue.

Before the July 4 holiday, a couple of economic reports were issued indicating hiring remain solid in June.

In its survey, payroll provider ADP said businesses added 188,000 jobs in June.

And the Labor Department reported weekly unemployment benefits stayed below 350,000 -- indicating there have been fewer layoffs.

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