Last Night Was The Party, This Morning’s Job Report Is The Hangover


The United States Department of Labor released their Employment Situation Summary Friday and the numbers are still pretty dismal. Fewer than 100,000 jobs were created in August but the unemployment figure ticked down to 8.1% from 8.3%. Understand that people that have been receiving unemployment benefits are dropping off daily because they have exhausted those benefits and those numbers are not factored into the report.

The GOP nominee Mitt Romney actually made quite the comparison of the jobs numbers this morning stating,

“If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover.”

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According to the report,

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Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.

The unemployment rate edged down in August to 8.1 percent. Since the beginning of this year, the rate has held in a narrow range of 8.1 to 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.2 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.2 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

Both the civilian labor force (154.6 million) and the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August. The employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, was little changed.

This is the lowest workforce participation in thirty-one years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the previous month’s job growth.

AFP reports that this may actually bring about some intervention by the Federal Reserve:

Last week Fed chief Ben Bernanke laid out his case for the FOMC to take more action to boost the economy, citing the lack of progress this year on jobs and the rise in long-term joblessness.

“The economic situation is obviously far from satisfactory,” he said at the Fed’s annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“The stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years,” he said.

“Based on the tone of the minutes of the last Fed meeting, as well as Chairman Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech, we sense that policymakers are inclined to do something to further ease monetary policy — but the employment data could influence specifically which measures are adopted,” said Joseph LaVorgna of Deutsche Bank.

“If there is a sharp negative surprise from the employment figures, say payrolls come in below 75,000 and the unemployment rate rises a couple of tenths, then the Fed would undertake QE (quantitative easing) in addition to our expected language changes,” LaVorgna said.

No wonder everyone said there wasn’t any spark in Obama’s speech last night. He knew the numbers that were coming out just hours after he would give that speech. It seems that in Obama’s dictionary must translate his campaign’s slogan of “Forward” as “Downward.”

The bottom line is that the economy is sputtering and unable to fully start up. This is not good news for the Obama campaign. It’s even worse news for the millions of Americans that remain unemployed long after they have dropped off the “official” unemployment numbers.

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