Jobless Rate Dips to 9.1%; Rebels Say Gadhafi’s Son Killed in Airstrike

BY News Desk  August 5, 2011 at 8:45 AM EDT

A day after the worst stock-market sell-off since the 2008 financial crisis, the Labor Department reported Friday that hiring increased in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent.

Employers added 117,000 jobs in July, an improvement from the past two months, the Labor Department said. June’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 513 points on Thursday, its biggest decline since December 2008. Asian and European markets did not fare much better Friday, as stock markets around the world continue to slide on a combination of worries over the U.S. economy and Europe’s debt crisis. The Nikkei was down 3.72 percent and London’s FTSE was down 2.23 percent.

The New York Times Lede blog is live-blogging action on the U.S. markets Friday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a telephone conference on Friday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the Europe’s economy.

President Obama was expected to make a statement on the economy at 11 a.m. when he announces the “Returning Heroes” and “Wounded Warriors” tax credits.

The Labor Department also revised the previous two months’ jobs totals. The economy added 53,000 jobs in May, up from an earlier estimate of 25,000, and 46,000 in June, up from 18,000.

Rebels: Gadhafi’s Son Killed in NATO Airstrike

Libyan rebels said Friday that 27-year-old Khamis Gadhafi was believed to be among 32 people killed in a NATO airstrike on a government operations center in a western town.

Khamis Gadhafi, Moammar Gadhafi’s youngest son, commanded a brigade known as one of Libya’s best trained and equipped units. NATO did not confirm the report, but said that planes made strikes in the area where Khamis Gadhafi was known to be.

A Libyan government spokesman denied the reports of Khamis Gadhafi’s death.

In May, Libyan officials announced that another of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons, Seif al-Arab, was killed along with three of Gadhafi’s grandchildren in a NATO airstrike on a Tripoli neighborhood.