Job Loss Numbers Show Slight Improvement

August 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jobs are still disappearing, but at a much slower rate. Experts say that's a sign better economic news could soon be on the way.The 19th straight month, the nation's employers cut jobs. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report was better than most economists expected. 247,000 jobs were lost in July; the slowest month for job losses in nearly a year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall told a joint committee Friday most industries, such as auto manufacturers, have already made the bulk of their layoffs. Workers' hours are increasing after dropping to a record low in June and paychecks grew after stagnating or even decreasing during the downturn.

Take Simonton Windows in West Virginia. "The combination of the tax stimulus, as well as some general recovery, and market share gains we're making have allowed us to bring people back," said Mark Savan.

The company has rehired every one of the 263 employees laid off since last November.

While economists predict unemployment will hit 10 percent or higher by the end of the year, last month it dipped slightly to 9.4 percent, the first decrease since April of last year.

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