August Jobs Numbers Underwhelm

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 7 2012 8:55 AM

The Economy Added Fewer Jobs Than Expected Last Month

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The August jobs numbers are out: The U.S. economy added 96,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point to 8.1 percent from the previous month.

Economist had expected around 125,000 new jobs, so the monthly total is being seen mostly as a disappointment. The Wall Street Journal with the instant analysis:

"U.S. job growth slowed in August, a sign of a slack recovery that could mute any postconvention momentum for President Barack Obama and spur the Federal Reserve to take further steps in an effort to stimulate the economy. ...
"Republicans and Democrats will seize on Friday's numbers—the economy has added jobs every month since September 2010, though the pace has been uneven and the recovery remains tepid. Job growth has averaged 139,000 a month so far this year, compared with 153,000 in 2011."
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The government also revised June and July's jobs numbers downward to show that the economy added 41,000 fewer jobs in those months than first thought.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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