Unemployment Drops to 7.4 Percent

The economic recovery continues to chug slowly along. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent, the lowest rate since December 2008, but only 162,000 new jobs were created in July, fewer than economists expected. The number of new jobs was revised down for both May and June as well, and the labor force participation rate—the share of people with jobs or actively looking for them—remained about the same. Most of the gains came in retail, food services, and the financial industry.