Sat, Jul 5, 2014 11:27 AM EDT 0:56
A surprisingly robust job market is energizing the 5-year-old U.S. recovery and driving the economy closer to full health. Employers added 288,000 jobs in June and helped cut the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2008. It was the fifth straight gain above 200,000 — the best such stretch since the late 1990s tech boom. The stock market signaled its approval. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 92 points to top 17,000 for the first time. The breadth and consistency of the job growth are striking in part because of how poorly the year began. The economy shrank at a steep 2.9 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the sharpest contraction since the depths of the recession.