LONDON (ShareCast) - Better than feared US jobs data gave equity markets a lift Friday, with the jobless rate falling for the first time in a year.
The Labor Department said 247,000 jobs disappeared in July, far less than the 320,000 predicted by analysts and almost half the 467,000 reported in June.
Today’s number was the least jobs lost in a month since August 2008, while an unemployment rate fell of 9.4%, down from 9.5% last month, was the first decline since April last year.
The market was also encouraged by an increase in the average hourly work week to 33.1 hours from the previous month’s record low of 33 hours.
But the number of people out of world for over six months kept growing, up to a record close to 5 million.
Those who lose their jobs are also likely to be unemployed for longer than at any time in 61 years, about 25.1 weeks according to the latest data.
The reduction in non-farm payrolls has also been attributed to there being far fewer people to sack now than there were several months ago.
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