The Campaign Spot

Forget Last Month’s Minor Drop; Unemployment Hits 9.7 Percent

Hey, remember last month, when the unemployment numbers came out, and Jim was underwhelmed? Remember how Jim noted the number of people who were no longer looking for work, and thus didn’t count as unemployed, had jumped dramatically? Remember how people accused Jim of saying that the Bureau of Labor Statistics was fudging the numbers, and Jim said, no, but people ought to notice that “the unemployment rate declined from month to month, even though the total number of Americans employed with a job decreased” and that the happy headlines were misleading?

Anyway, here’s the news today:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in August (-216,000), and the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Oh, and here’s what BLS is saying about the previous months, including the July number that looked so good:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from -443,000 to -463,000, and the change for July was revised from -247,000 to -276,000.

Well, at least the stimulus projects are creating jobs in the construction field. Oh, wait: 65,000 jobs in the construction field were lost last month.

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