By PAUL WISEMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) -- How does the U.S. economy do it?
Europe is floundering. China faces slower growth. Japan is struggling to sustain tentative gains.
Yet the U.S. job market is humming, and the pace of economic growth is steadily rising. Five full years after a devastating recession officially ended, the economy is finally showing the vigor that Americans have long awaited.
Last month, employers added 288,000 jobs and helped reduce the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008. June capped a five-month stretch of 200,000-plus job gains - the first in nearly 15 years.
After having shrunk at a 2.9 percent annual rate from January through March - largely because of a brutal winter - the U.S. economy is expected to grow at a healthy 3 percent pace the rest of the year.
Here are five reasons the United States is outpacing other major economies: