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Paper cutouts of shirts and ties The lower unemployment reading was due in part to a factor economists don’t always see as a healthy sign: The share of working-age people in the labor force decreased to 62.8 percent from 63 percent. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The U.S. economy accelerated its rebound from a recent soft patch as unemployment unexpectedly fell to a fresh 49-year low amid surprisingly strong hiring and cooler-than-projected wage gains, suggesting the hot labor market can extend its run.

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