MEGAN MCARDLE: Jobless Figures: Good, Bad, or Indifferent? “Good, I’d say. Sort of. In a very weak way. . . . Still, it is good news, of a sort. Job loss is slowing, and a 12% eventual unemployment peak seems less likely than it did even a few months ago. But we should keep in mind that this also reinforces a grim fact of modern unemployment–it’s getting longer and harder than it used to be.”

UPDATE: Dan Indiviglio: “As a recession drags on for this long, and people are unable to find jobs, they begin leaving the workforce. They become discouraged regarding job prospects. BLS offers an unemployment rate that includes these discouraged workers. In June 2009, that was 10.1%. For July, it was 10.2%. . . . The jobs lost were the lowest in about a year. I just think we need to be careful not to get too excited about today’s numbers. Although they appear to show a decrease in the unemployment rate, the deeper numbers show the contrary. We may see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we’ve got a ways to go.”