Only 247,000 Jobs Lost In July

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And the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4%.

This is pretty significant for a few reasons.

First, there’s just the psychological effect of 10% unemployment. The media had been positioning that as the dreaded magic number and now it appears that we’ll never reach it.

Second, economists projected 325,000 job losses for July, so coming in 80,000 below is incredibly encouraging.

Third, we lost 545,000 jobs in April, 532,000 in May, 443,000 in June, and now 247,000 in July. Obviously we’re headed in the right direction.

Still, as the NY Times points out, people are hurting…

Karen Triplett, 61, of Atlanta, lost her job in advertising sales in February and said she has been hitting wall after wall as she looks for work. The only job offer she received, she said, turned out to be a scam.

“It’s dismal to say the least,” she said. “I went from making $60,000 a year to $1,100 a month unemployment. I’ve got two friends who have already lost their houses. I’m struggling just to make sure my house note is met.”

Ms. Triplett said she worked nearly full-time since she was a teenager — as a secretary at a bank, a tobacco company and a television station, as a flight attendant, and selling advertising. She raised two children, bought a house, paid her bills on time and had a credit score of 878. Now, she is trying to stretch her unemployment checks far enough to cover her costs and struggling to pay her credit-card bills.

“I’m beyond down to basics,” Ms. Triplett said. “My daughter’s tried to help me. My son has given me money. But what I can’t do, I can’t do.”

So while we’re not adding jobs yet, I can’t help but think we’re only a few months away from that.

Fingers crossed.