US July Unemployment Rate Fell to 9.4%
US unemployment rate fell to 9.4% in July, down from 9.5% in June, marking the first drop since April 2008, and moreover, the highest rate in more than a quarter of a century.
Analysts attributed the lower rate of contraction to the government's stimulus package, which helped boost infrastructure schemes.
US job market lost 247,000 jobs in July, also the lowest monthly figure since August 2008. Around 6.7 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession in December 2007, according to the US Labor Department.
As recently as July 15, the Federal Reserve said it expected the U.S. unemployment rate to top 10 percent sometime in 2009 – which, of course, it still could.
While the slight drop in unemployment rate is certainly encouraging, there were still an estimated 8.8 million Americans who are working part-time in July who wanted to be working full-time, said the Labour Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner, Keith Hall.
Analysts had expected non-farm payrolls to drop by 320,000 in July and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.6%.
Job declines have affected all business sectors - 52,000 jobs lost in manufacturing and 76,000 jobs lost in construction. Both figures are smaller than they were a few months ago. On the bright side, there is an addition of 17,000 more jobs in the education and health services sector, and government employment rose by 7,000 after the cut of 48,000 staff in June.