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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth likely cooled a bit in July, but retained enough momentum to suggest the economy remained on solid ground. Still, it would mark the sixth straight month that employment has expanded by more than 200,000 jobs, a stretch last seen in 1997. The unemployment rate likely held at a six year-low of 6.1 percent, but could surprise on the downside after surveys showed Americans becoming more upbeat about jobs. "As long as we have job growth going in the right direction and the labor market tightening up, we are still in a good place," said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica in Dallas The economy grew at a 4.0 percent annual pace in the second quarter after shrinking at a 2.1 percent rate in the first three months of year.