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U.S. jobless rate dips as economy adds 117,000 jobs

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Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent, an optimistic sign after the worst day on Wall Street in nearly three years.

Employers added 117,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. That's better than the past two months, which were also revised higher.

The mild improvement may ease investors' concerns after the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 500 points over concerns that the U.S. may be entering another recession.

Businesses added 154,000 jobs across many industries. Governments cut 37,000 jobs last month. About 23,000 of those losses were almost entirely because of the shutdown of Minnesota's state government.

Still, the economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

The unemployment rate fell partly because some unemployed workers stopped looking for work. That means they are no longer counted as unemployed.

The report follows a string of gloomy data that shows the economy has weakened.

The economy expanded at a meager 0.8 percent annual rate in the first six months of this year, the slowest pace since the recession officially ended. Manufacturers are barely growing. Service companies are growing at the weakest pace in a year and a half. Consumers cut spending in June for the first time in 20 months, and they saved more.

High gas prices and scant wage increases have squeezed U.S. consumers this year. And consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Businesses have responded by cutting hiring after a strong start in which they added an average of 215,000 jobs a month from February through April.

But the government revised the previous two months' totals to show hiring wasn't as weak as first estimated.

The economy added 53,000 in May, up from an earlier estimate of 25,000, and 46,000 in June, up from 18,000. June's total was still the weakest in nine months.

Hiring in July was broad-based. Manufacturers added 24,000 jobs in July, as auto companies laid off fewer workers in July than usual. Retailers hired a net total of 26,000 employees. Employment in health care grew 31,000. Hotels and restaurants added 17,000.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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