PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The unemployment rate fell nationally last month, but not as much as some had hoped.

Here’s the good news.

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Unemployment has dropped to 7.4 percent.

Here’s some better news.

It’s even lower here in Pittsburgh.

But the bad news? Well, economists say jobs are not growing at quite the level they had hoped.

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 162,000 jobs in July, about 21,000 fewer than economists expected, which had the expected result on Wall Street.

“The simple math by most economists’ prediction is more than 250,000 jobs a month to get back to where we were prior to the collapse of the economy throughout the world,” says Ben Willis, a New York Stock Exchange trader.

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Market watchers say it’s typical of Wall Street where seeming good news is not always good enough for the stock market.

“Right now the Fed (Federal Reserve) has its foot on the gas, and in a way good news is bad news, and bad news is good news,” said Victor Conrad, a Pittsburgh certified financial planner.

PNC senior economist Dr. Gus Faucher says local job growth has been slower than the national average, but we’re still ahead overall in this region.

“We’re about one percent above where we were prior to the recession, whereas in the U.S. we are still down in the number of jobs we had prior to the recession,” Faucher told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

“And then the unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 6.8 percent and that’s well below the U.S. rate of 7.4 percent.”

What is helping the Pittsburgh region, says Faucher, is the nature of our local economy.

“We have a lot of jobs in education and health care that are less tied to the national economy, not as heavily exposed to the automobile industry and the housing industry — two industries that were hit really hard during the recession — and we’ve also benefited from strong exploration in natural gas.”

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