The American economy shed 247,000 jobs last month, the smallest monthly toll since last August, the government reported on Friday. . . The length of the workweek increased, albeit slightly, for the first time since August, a sign that businesses were not scaling back hours to cut their payroll costs. The government said fewer jobs were lost this spring than it had initially estimated, revising June’s lob losses to 443,000 from 467,000. Hourly earnings rose.
In a reversal, the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent, defying expectations of an increase. But economists cautioned that the unemployment rate had only declined because 400,000 people gave up their search for work and left the labor force.
The White House and economic forecasters still expect unemployment to reach 10 percent or more before it begins to fall back.