U.S. employers added a paltry 96,000 jobs last month, yet the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, according to the latest BLS Jobs Report. The number of unemployed persons “was little changed” at 12.5 million, while the workforce shrank by 368,000.
How does the unemployment rate improve but the number of unemployed persons stays the same? Simple –the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August. That marks a new 30-year low in the civilian participation rate.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey points out that, “if we had the same level of civilian participation as we did at the beginning of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7%), we’d be looking at a jobless rate of well over 10%.”
Not only does this months jobs report look bad, the revisions to reports from the last two months now make the situation even worse: June’s job numbers fell from 64,000 to a revised 45,000, and July’s numbers were revised from 163,000 to 141,000.
Reuters reports that this dismal jobs report could spark the fed to take action.
Jobs growth slowed more than expected in August, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to pump additional money into the sluggish economy next week and dealing a blow to President Obama as he seeks reelection in November.”
Expect President Obama to point out that unemployment fell by .2 percent without mentioning that the workforce shrank to hit a new 30-year low, because that’s the easiest way to make this dismal report look better.