Unemployment dips to 9.1% as employers add 117,000 new jobs


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Job growth in the U.S. rebounded higher in July and the unemployment rate edged lower, the government reported Friday, providing a pinch of good news amid turmoil in global markets and intensifying fears of a recession.

Employers in the U.S. added 117,000 net new jobs in July –- slightly above analysts’ expectations and the highest since April. The originally reported 18,000 new jobs produced in June was revised higher to 46,000.


The unemployment rate dipped last month to 9.1% from 9.2% in June, reversing three straight months of increases. But analysts said the decline in the unemployment rate was partly because more people dropped out of the anemic labor market.

And the pace of July’s job growth was still a little shy of what’s needed every month to keep pace with the growing population of working-age people, let alone begin to make up for the 7 million jobs still needed to recover what was lost in the recession.

Still, coming on the heels of Thursday’s huge sell-off on Wall Street that spread overnight to Asia and then Europe, the report may at least give a bit of respite to investors and others after a series of grim economic reports in the U.S. and deepening debt troubles in Europe sharply raised the risks of a return to recession.

“The better-than-expected report may quell some of the doom and gloom that appeared this week,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, a labor economist at Moody’s Analytics, in a note to clients.


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-- Don Lee, reporting from Washington