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The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that the nation's unemployment rate took an unexpected turn in July, dropping slightly from 9.5% in June to 9.4%. The most recent report also noted that employers had scaled back layoffs, eliminating just 247,000 jobs in July, marking the fewest cuts in a year.

The number of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased by 584,000 in July, meaning one in three unemployed persons now fall into this category. Additionally, the number of persons who've taken part-time work for economic reasons, also called involuntary part-time workers, remained steady at 8.8 million. This number skyrocketed in the fall and winter but has remained largely unchanged since.

The unemployment rate announcement comes just a week after the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the nation's economy as a whole slowed at a reduced rate of 1% in the second quarter, leading analysts to believe the recession may be at an end. As NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) has predicted, many believe that the economy could start growing again by the end of the third quarter.

Jacob Barron, NACM staff writer. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NACM_National.

 

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