96,000 Jobs Added in August

by Patrick Brennan

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports what can only be deeply disappointing news: The U.S. economy gained only 96,000 non-farm jobs in August. The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent in July, but mostly thanks to shrinking participation in the labor force. Labor-force participation, at 63.5 percent, is now the lowest it has been since 1981.

And the president already has himself in a hole for the 1 million manufacturing jobs he’s promised last night he’ll bring in a second term: The sector shed 15,000 jobs in the past month.

The previous two months were also revised down: June’s jobs number from 64,000 to 45,000, and July’s from 163,000 to 141,000.

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