US employment numbers defy skeptics, still climbing as inflation fears deepen

Economists say the stronger-than-expected report indicates the U.S. isn’t in a recession yet. But other economic factors point to one in the nearby future.

WASHINGTON — America’s hiring boom continued last month as employers added a surprising 528,000 jobs despite raging inflation and rising anxiety about a recession.

July’s hiring was up from 398,000 in June. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.5%.

The U.S. economy shrank in the first two quarters of 2022 — an informal definition of recession. But most economists believe the strong jobs market has kept the economy from slipping into a downturn.

The American job market has repeatedly

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