Job losses slow in July, unemployment falls to 9.4 percent

The U.S. economy lost "only" 247,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department announced Friday, with the nation's unemployment dipping to 9.4 percent -- a certain sign of progress in the nation's long journey back to economic health. Further, the job loss total was considerably less than expected for the third straight month, providing more evidence that lay-offs may have peaked and the recession in the world's largest economy is bottoming.

Further, it was the lowest monthly job loss total in 11 months. A Bloomberg News economists survey had forecast the job market would shed 300,000 more jobs in July and the unemployment rate would rise to 9.7 percent. The economy lost a revised 442,000 jobs in June and 322,000 jobs in May.