US employers hire more staff than expected

Employers in the US added more workers than forecast last month, easing concern that the three-year expansion is faltering. Bigger payroll gains may be necessary to reduce an unemployment rate that climbed to a five-month high. Employment increased by 163 000 last month, helped by a pick-up at vehicle makers and health-care providers, Labor Department data showed on Friday. The median estimate of 89 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise of 100 000. The jobless rate, based on a separate survey of households, climbed to 8.3 percent. An unemployment rate that has been stuck above 8 percent since February 2009 is one reason the Federal Reserve said last week it was prepared to take new steps. – Bloomberg