In August, two months ahead of the presidential election ahead of which this number will be one of the most critical and talked about, the US generated just 96,000 non-farm payroll jobs, on expectations of 130K additions, and compared to the July number of 163,000, now revised to 143,000K.
Private payrolls rose by a modest 103,000, much lower than the expected number of 142K, and down from July's revised 162K.
-15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost, compared to the expected +10K, and sadly just a little bit short of Obama's recent promise to add 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016.
Finally, while the unemployment rate came lower (surprise, surprise: this is what appears in newspapers) at 8.1%, far lower than expectations of 8.3%, and below last month's 8.3%, the broad total underemployment rate (U-6) continues to be sticky at 14.7%.
Birth Death added 87,000, up from July's 52,000.
The reason for the drop in the unemployment rate: labor force participation dropped to 63.5%, down from 63.7%.
Oddly enough, this report leaves the NEW QE door open, even as Obama can take the accolade for a declining unemployment rate. Win-win for everyone.
Romney's response, which I heard excerpted on tv but haven't found in writing, mirrors much of what economists are saying: For every job created, four people "stopped looking for work" -- or something to that effect.
Note to Self: You need to write to Stuart Varney, and maybe the Romney campaign as well, to beg for a change in their language. Those 368,000 American didn't suddenly "stop looking for work." That makes it sound as if it were they who made a decision, committed an action, to stop. More accurately, they simply aren't counted anymore.
Since they're not on a payroll, they're not "employed" and because their unemployment benefits have expired, they're no longer considered "un-employed." As a result, they play no part in the official labor force and exist only in the twilight zone called U-6.
Meanwhile, the number in the [civilian] labor force is diminished down to 154.6 million. Thus, those who remain officially unemployed now constitute only 8.1% of the shrunken total.
What a mess. And Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has the CHUTZPAH to say:
"An economic crisis that was decades in the making will not be solved overnight, but our recovery remains on a stable trajectory of positive job growth. Smart and steady wins the race.
You can read the entirety of her statement HERE. It reeks of partisan garbage.
Want to see what's really going on? Go take a gander at DailyJobCuts.