Private Hiring Picks Up, Jobless Claims Fall

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U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in June and the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell last week, strengthening views that the economy is positioned for a pickup in the second half.

Payrolls processor ADP said on Thursday that private sector employment increased 157,000 after a modest 36,000 gain in May -- beating economists' expectations for a 68,000 rise.