Dole queues fall across the West for the first time
Is this the end? The beginning of the end? The end, as the man once said, of the beginning?
This morning unemployment has fallen in every one of the West's local authority areas.
Not huge - in Wiltshire it was just 40 people - but the numbers claiming jobseekers allowance fell everywhere.
Here's the list:
Somerset : 308 down
South Gloucestershire : 219 down
Bristol : 201 down
Gloucestershire : 169 down
Dorset: 154 down
Swindon : 118 down
B & NE Somerset : 53 down
North Somerset : 51 down
Wiltshire : 40 down
And for all those statistics-lovers out there who want to see three monthly comparisons, the numbers are all down on May's figures too. Yes, there are still thousands more people out of work here than there were a year ago. In Bristol for example, unemployment grew from 6,134 last September to 11,306 last month.
But now the queues have stopped growing, and started shrinking.
In total, there are 1,313 people in the west of England who have stopped signing on.
And that should be good news. So why is nobody cheering?
I can't find a soul in a suit who thinks this recession is anywhere close to ending yet.
It's the Big W they're all afraid of. Not the Woolies store of course, not any more. But the fear that no sooner have we come up out of the credit crunch, than a big public sector freeze sends us crashing down again.
Now all the politicians have talked openly of cutting the debt by curbing Whitehall spending, the only question is where the axe will fall.
And in the West, a lot of cash comes from Whitehall. Councils, yes, but also our huge Universities; the massive MoD supply and logistics HQ at Abbey Wood; big hospital trusts and quangos like the Environment Agency.
No-one expects to see nurses uniforms in the dole queues, at least not soon. But even if politicians save those "front line staff", as they call them, others will feel the chill.
Contractors, whether in computers or training or bricks and mortars, turned to the public sector when commercial work ran dry in 2008. But contractors are the first to get trimmed back when hospital managers or university Vice Chancellors are trying to cut costs.
Now, as one man said to me the other day, they hope the private orders will come back before the public purse snaps shut.
Still, today our jobless numbers have fallen. A new supermarket opens in Chard, hiring 59 people.
So not the end then, no. But maybe, Mr Churchill, the end of the terrible beginning.