Jobless rate down for first time in a year

The economy shed 247,000 jobs in July, less than expected and lowest total of losses since last August. Unemployment rate inches down to 9.4%.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The long-battered U.S. job market showed some signs of improvement in July as employers cut far fewer jobs from payrolls and the unemployment rate fell for the first time in more than a year, according to a government report Friday.

The Labor Department reported a net loss of 247,000 jobs in July, the fewest job losses since August 2008. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a loss of 325,000.

The job loss in June was also revised lower — to 443,000 job losses from 467,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.4% from 9.5% in June, the first decline in that closely watched reading since April of 2008. Economists had expected unemployment to rise to 9.6%.

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