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Economy adds 175,000 jobs in May; unemployment rate rises

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WASHINGTON — The nation kept up its moderate but steady job growth in May as employers added 175,000 net new positions, slightly higher than the prior month, the government reported today.

The unemployment rate edged up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April. That was the first increase since the year began with a jobless figure of 7.9 percent, but the rise was partly because more people re-entered the job market last month — a sign that workers may be feeling more hopeful about their hiring prospects.