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(WSJ) — Employers in New York City hired several thousand workers in July, a surprising boost in a usually slow summer month that also marked the city’s best job growth since January.

The city’s unemployment rate fell to 9.4% last month, compared with 9.5% in June and last year’s high of 10.5%, the New York State Labor Department reported Thursday. The city’s unemployment rate dipped below the national figure of 9.5%.

“It’s very strong numbers in terms of jobs. Just about every sector performed above their historical averages,” said James Brown, an economist with the Labor Department.

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