Hiring in the US was unexpectedly strong last month, as the American economy continued to defy forecasts of a slowdown. Employers added 216,000 jobs and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, the Labor Department said. Government hiring drove the gains, which extended one of the strongest streaks of job creation on record. The growth has confounded forecasters expecting job losses as higher borrowing costs slowed the economy. But it has raised hopes that the US central bank will be able to get a grip on inflation, the rate at which prices rise, without triggering a painful downturn. …President Joe Biden, who has struggled to convince voters that an economy can be strong while slowing, cheered the figures in a statement that also pointed to slowing price inflation.