Better Than Expected: Unemployment Dips to 9.1%
117K jobs added in July, more than predicted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 5, 2011 7:45 AM CDT
Updated Aug 5, 2011 8:01 AM CDT
People walk past a "now hiring" sign outside the future site of a Uniqlo clothing store, Wednesday, June 15, 2011 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1%, an optimistic sign after the worst day on Wall Street in nearly three years. The Labor Department says employers added 117,000 jobs last month, an improvement from the past two months. The Wall Street Journal notes that economists had only expected 75,000 jobs to be added, and calls the jobs report "surprisingly good."

Still, the economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9% in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009. The unemployment rate fell partly because some unemployed workers stopped looking for work, which means they are no longer counted as unemployed.