The US economy created 96,000 jobs in August, according to official figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But that figure was lower than expected and revisions to June and July data mean that 41,000 fewer jobs were created than previously reported. And experts had thought that farm labor would have grown by 125,000 last month, but it didn’t.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, compared with 8.3% in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, professional and technical services and healthcare during August, the Bureau said. But those aren’t good wages to support a family.
Employment growth has averaged 139,000 a month in 2012, the Bureau said, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
The percentage of Americans who either have a job or who are looking for one fell to 63.5%, the lowest participation rate since 1981. BBC
These weak figures could put pressure on Obama’s chance for re-election. Meanwhile Romney described the figures as “more of the same for middle-class families who are
suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression”. BBC
Romney says his plan would create 12 million jobs by the end of his first term. The figures are also seen as making it more likely that the US Federal Reserve will provide further economic stimulus measures in the form of quantitative easing, as hinted at by chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech on 31 August. Just what we need, another failed stimulus.
Figures released last week showed that the US economy grew at an annualised pace of 1.7% in the second quarter of the year.