Unemployment falls to 7.4 percent

(CBS News) America's employers didn't do as much hiring last month as economists were expecting. About 162,000 jobs were added -- the smallest number since March. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest level in four-and-a half years. But that was partly because 37,000 people took themselves out of the job hunt and were not counted as unemployed.

Angeline Davis has had plenty of time to walk her dog in the year-and-a half she's been looking for work.

Angeline Davis, who had been unemployed for over a year, says that until she gets a job, the job market looks the same to her.
CBS News

So does the job market look better to her? "Until I get a job, to me it's the same," she said.

A former corporate meeting & events planner, Davis has found some temporary work as a receptionist. But she's been turned down for retail sales jobs:

"People think that you're overqualified," she said. "They know that you're gonna leave as soon as something comes better. Whatever their reason, they don't call me back."

While the unemployment rate did dip in July, the employment rate -- that's the percentage of the American population that is working -- has remained largely flat since 2010 at about 58 percent.

Davis -- who's 51 and single -- doesn't have children to support. But she worries about losing her apartment. Her unemployment benefits have run out.

"I usually have a Plan B in my back pocket," she said. "And I don't. I don't know what to do."

Davis mentioned her faith in God and acknowledged her Bible is a mess because she's been using it so much. "I've been turning to every promise there can be. It's how I get by."

Angeline Davis is one of more than 4.2 million Americans who've been out of work for more than six months. They still make up 37 percent of the unemployed.

Job growth slowed in July
W.H. touts July jobs growth, GOP says it's not enough
Economy adds 162K jobs, unemployment dips to 7.4 pct

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"