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Stats show more jobs, higher pay

U.S. employers added a vigorous 257,000 jobs in January, and wages jumped by the most in six years — evidence that the job market is accelerating closer to full health. The surprisingly robust report the government issued Friday also showed that hiring was far stronger in November and December than it had previously estimated. Employers added 414,000 jobs in November — the most in 17 years. December’s gain was revised sharply up to 329,000 from 252,000. Friday’s data provided the most compelling evidence to date that 5½ years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. job market is finally enjoying the hiring and pay growth typical of a healthy recovery. Average hourly wages soared 12 cents last month to $24.75 — the sharpest increase since 2008. Over the past 12 months, hourly pay, which has long been stagnant, has now risen 2.2 percent. That is above inflation, which rose just 0.8 percent in 2014.

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