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Whose fault? U.S. adds disappointing 96,000 jobs; August unemployment rate at 8.1 percent

This news story was published on September 7, 2012.
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Awilda Isaac, left, works on a printer being assembled at Datacard Co. in Minnetonka, Minnesota, July 19, 2012. The company, which recently moved a production line from a plant in Malaysia to Minnetonka, is among several in the state that have moved manufacturing operations back to the States.

By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau –

WASHINGTON—In a broadly disappointing economic report, U.S. employers added a smaller-than-expected 96,000 jobs in August as manufacturers cut back their payrolls and government continued to shed workers. Moreover, the Labor Department revised lower the job-growth numbers estimated for July and June.

The Labor Department said the jobless rate dropped over the month, to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but that came as many people dropped out of the labor market. In a nation where the population is growing, a shrinking labor force suggests that many workers are giving up job searches because they are striking out in the employment market or don’t see good prospects.

The share of workers and unemployed people who are seeking work out of the total population—or the labor force participation rate—dropped to a 30-year low of 63.5 percent in August. Average hourly earnings also dipped over the month, the Labor Department said.

The report, coming on the morning after President Obama’s nomination acceptance speech, was bad news for Obama and his supporters, who spent a considerable amount of energy during this week’s Democratic National Convention defending the president’s economic record and pushing back against Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s criticisms that the administration’s economic policies have failed.

The report also deflated hopes that had risen in recent days that the economy was recapturing momentum that was lost in the spring. Many analysts were expecting job growth of 125,000 in August, and some were looking for stronger numbers in the wake of a private survey that suggested private-sector job growth of about 200,000.

The Labor Department on Friday revised downward job growth in July, to 141,000 from 163,000 initially estimated, and it said employers added 45,000 jobs in June, not 64,000 as previously reported.

Taking the last three months together, the economy added an average of 94,000 jobs a month. That’s not enough to absorb new workers entering the labor force and is down from an average of 226,000 in the first quarter of this year.

The details in the August report were not particularly encouraging either.

Manufacturing, which had been the star of the economic recovery, lost 15,000 jobs in August, confirming recent indications of slowing orders and exports. Employment in the temporary-help sector, often considered a harbinger of broader hiring activity, dropped by 4,900.

Of the job gains, 28,000, or 30 percent of the 96,000 net new positions, were in food and drinking establishments, which typically pay lower wages and offers fewer hours for people. Among better-paying businesses, computer system design firms added 11,000 to their payrolls over the month, and management and technical consulting employment grew by 9,000. Healthcare employment, which has a mix of high- and low-paying jobs, rose by 17,000 jobs.

If there is a silver lining in the report, it’s that the Federal Reserve is now seen as even more likely to announce a new round of bond-buying economic stimulus when the central bank meets next week.

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19 Responses to Whose fault? U.S. adds disappointing 96,000 jobs; August unemployment rate at 8.1 percent

  1. Bobby G Reply Report comment

    September 9, 2012 at 3:53 am

    This remindes me of that song by Johnny Cash. Ring of fire.

  2. happyguy Reply Report comment

    September 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    American corp’s are sitting on $300 billion waiting to see who wins the election. There will be massive job creation once Pres. Obama is reelected and the teabaggers stop fighting his every idea. Extreme right wing republicans are the reason our economy is recovering at the slow pace it is. Time for them to start doing their jobs or elect new congressmen who will.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Sorry, corporations will invest elsewhere where the business climate is better.

  3. Bobby G Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Why do we have a president that gave thousands of Illegals the right to work here? When he knows the unemployment numbers are still very high. He will do anything to get the Mexican voters. Even if it is bad for the country.

  4. Shocked Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    He He He. Look who is putting their money with Bain Capital because they appreciate their success…Iowa Public Employees Retirement System(IPERS) (177.1 million), Indiana and Illinois Retirement Systems, many states put their government worker pension funds with them. Bain has managed wealth for endowments and foundations like Columbia (where Obama attended), Princeton (Michelle attended), Yale University and others. The Ford Foundation, Heinz Endowments, and Oprah Winfrey Foundation. What are all these lefties screaming about Bain for when they are using them to manage their money? Probably because Bain has an 80% success rate with companies and people value their expertise. Article is by Deroy Murdock if you want to read it yourself.

  5. sad but true Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    5.00 dollar gas, 15% unemployment, inflation through the roof. Arnt the next 4 years going to be a good time.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Aren’t republicans self proclaimed job creators? Where are all those jobs they are supposed to be creating?

    • David Reply Report comment

      September 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      It’s the democrats that are the job creators right now fool but once Romney gets in then it will be the Republicans that WILL create jobs.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

        Republicans can’t create jobs unless one is the president? That hardly seems right.

      • David Reply Report comment

        September 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

        If they can’t create jobs unless one was president then how come you just said in your original post that you thought republicans were “Aren’t republicans self proclaimed job creators”. You just contradicted yourself unless you know deep down that Romney WILL WIN.

  7. LVS Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Over 300K people dropped out of the job market. They jus got tired of looking and gave up.That is a lot of people who just went on the welfare rolls. That is just where the Democrats want them is on the government subsidy where they will be dependent on King Obama. What a farce you democrats are. It is not the old people’s democratic party that I used to vote for anymore. I would vote straight Independent except it would be throwing away my vote so I will probably vote for Romney as the lessor of two evils.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      The lesser of two evils is that way every election. When will America wake up and get rid of both these worthless partys that have combined to ruin this country. Add up the national debt while each was in power both these worthless organizations have contributed evenly to this mess!

      • David Reply Report comment

        September 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

        This is the first thing you’ve ever said that I agree with.

  8. velo Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    First of all Congress ruined everything Barack has tried to do why don’t you try blaming them elephant man?

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Congress? No. His programs are terrible, that’s why they failed.

    • Babyboomer55 Reply Report comment

      September 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      What you don’t seem to realize is that not everybody agrees with his agenda. Obama hates being critized for anything, and always passes the buck.

  9. Oblama Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    It’s Bush’s fault! And the House Republicans are just as bad. They keep playing games, wanting to pass something called a “BUDGET”, whatever that is.

  10. elephants beat donkeys Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Obama’s, who else? He’s like Carter! No better.