Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) — Payrolls climbed in 35 states in August, while the unemployment rate rose in 24, as gradual progress in the labor market continued.

California led the nation with a 44,200 increase in payrolls, followed by Florida with 22,700 more jobs, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington.

While national payroll gains slowed in August compared to the previous six months, labor market indicators have shown signs of strength as an improving economy boosts demand for workers. More job growth will be needed to spur wage increases and lift consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.

"The labor market continues to improve, perhaps at a more moderate pace," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. "When you also look at some other indicators like hiring and quits rates, the marginally employed — a lot of these have improved."

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