Quantcast

Monday, July 21, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 23 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

U.S. economy adds 96K jobs, rate falls to 8.1 percent

By Christopher S. Rugaber

AP Economics Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:28 a.m. HST, Sep 07, 2012


WASHINGTON » U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow the momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for jobs. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they're looking for a job.

The government also said Friday that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the start of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000.

Dow Jones industrial futures, which had been up before the report, fell soon after it was released but then bounced back. And the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note tumbled to 1.63 percent, from 1.73 percent. That suggested that investors see a slow economy resulting in more demand for low-risk investments like U.S. Treasurys.

Friday's report was discouraging throughout. Hourly pay fell, manufacturers cut the most jobs in two years and the number of people in the work force dropped to its lowest level in 31 years.

The sluggish figures make the Federal Reserve more likely to unveil a new bond-buying program at its meeting next week to try to lift the economy, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo. The goal of the bond purchases would be to lower long-term interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending.

"This weak jobs report is going to feed into their argument that the economy is growing at a sub-par pace," Silvia said.

The report provided fodder for both presidential candidates. Soon after the report was issued, Republican nominee Mitt Romney pointed to 43 straight months in which unemployment has now exceeded 8 percent.

"President Obama just hasn't lived up to his promises, and his policies haven't worked," Romney said in a statement.

At the same time, the report marks the 30th straight month of private-sector job gains, a point Obama and his allies are certain to spotlight.

Friday's jobs report is among the most politically consequential of the campaign. The figures arrive as the presidential race enters the final two months before Election Day. Jobs are the core issue, and the report could sway some undecided voters.

There will be two additional employment reports before the election. But by then, more Americans will have made up their minds.

In his speech Thursday night, Obama acknowledged incomplete progress in repairing the still-struggling economy and asked voters to remain patient.

"The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over the decades," Obama said.

Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, noted that hiring has improved slightly in the past two months. Job gains averaged 119,000 in July and August, up from an average monthly gain of 67,000 in the April-June quarter.

"There's no sign of momentum fading," he said. "That said, it's not much better. ... What you're left with is an economy that's still growing, but pretty modestly."







 Print   Email   Comment | View 23 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(23)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
And the reason the rate came "down" was because 396,000 Americans stopped looking for a job. So, even though they are still unemployed somehow they don't count because they didn't register with EDD. Amazing!!. And what is really and truly frightening is that the left wing voters will believe that "gaining" 96,000 jobs is good and losing 396,000 more doesn't count. They will continue to vote based upon platitudes of I feel your pain, or I care, or we want others to pay their fair share, etc., etc.
on September 7,2012 | 04:40AM
palani wrote:
The economy must create about 100,000 jobs each month just to keep up with the country's population growth, so we are really not gaining anything, despite what the spin doctors might say. This administration is like the Las Vegas gambler who boasts of "winning" $100 in the slots, conveniently forgetting that he played $500 to get it.

In fairness to our President, chronic high unemployment is a sure sign that his policies are working, successfully taking us down the failed path of European social welfare states.


on September 7,2012 | 06:33AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Thoughr 150K/month was the break even.
on September 7,2012 | 07:36AM
palani wrote:
Could be, the 100,000 may be too conservative an estimate.
on September 7,2012 | 09:18AM
OldDiver wrote:
The economy was losing over 700,000 jobs a month when President Obama took office. While Republicans have done everything possible to keep the economy weak we have had over 27 months of positive job growth.
on September 7,2012 | 11:06AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Slowest recovery since the great depression. So slow that the current trend is for job creation to continue to be LESS than the number of new entrants into the jobs market. Abysmal. You can put lipstick and false eyelashes on this pig of an economy, but it's still a pig. Thanks to the counter productive policies and pronouncements of your hero.
on September 7,2012 | 04:38PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Really, OD? Unemployment rate during the last 2 years (2007-2008) of GWB was 4.6% in 2007 and 5.8% in 2008. In Obama's 1st 2 years, the unemployment rate was 9.3% in 2009 and 9.6% in 2010 ((Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104719.html).
on September 7,2012 | 08:30PM
Mana07 wrote:
The left will spin it and proclaim that the savior Obama dropped the unemployment rate.
on September 7,2012 | 04:59AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Hey, it all comes down to how the folks feel. Everyone is, or knows someone, or both, who is without a job or is stuck in a job that is not their choice. Everyone has a kid who went to school and now can't find the work that they went to school to get. Lots of us have kids living with us, but acting as if they aren't. How do you feel? Government employees need not answer.
on September 7,2012 | 05:06AM
9ronboz wrote:
And let's not forget all the govt freebies. Why go back to work?
on September 7,2012 | 06:53AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
No one said turning around the Bush years was going to be easy. Obama admitted some of his decisions were mistakes. That's being forthright but it still doesn't change the situation. Are we better than we were 4 years ago? Of course. Not a whole lot better but better. But we're not there yet. We've still got a long ways to go. It really depends on this bipartisanship theme that politicians use but rarely execute. America is all about big banks and their influence on our politicians. At this point, I'm not sure which way to go.
on September 7,2012 | 07:00AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Oh come on, Barry correctly pointed out that the Recession ended July of 2009, yes 09, so in a recovery that is over 3 years along is having 4 folks giving up on getting a job vs. 1 new job progress? Hawaii has the greatest tolerance for giving up on work in the country, and kids here who want to work leave Hawaii, but the rest of the country will not put up with folks not working.
on September 7,2012 | 07:13AM
Pacej001 wrote:
I'm sorry, but gotta throw a flag on your comment. When will you folks step back far enough to ask yourself a simple question: Is our president up to the job. I mean, seriously, our labor participation rate hasn't been this low since 1948! Sure the presidency is a tough job, but the sympathy should go to those affected by this slow motion train wreck of an economy, not the occupant of the White House. By every objective measure, this guy, fine family man and great speaker that he may be, isn't up to the job. We deserve better leadership. We deserve competence, period. I'm not in love with the other side, either, but at least they have some recognizable goals. At least they acknowledge our dire fiscal problems. Obama and company have nothing. Last night's speech was just more of the empathy talk that sounded good before we saw his actual performance, but sounds stale, devoid of ideas now. You say we need to be patient, give the man time. NO. We don't have time. We need to fire this well meaning ideologue and give someone else a chance. Otherwise, four years from now, we'll in all likelihood be right where we are now or worse, much, much worse.
on September 7,2012 | 07:46AM
ballen0607 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on September 7,2012 | 12:22PM
Pacej001 wrote:
But Bill Clinton is a raging liar,although a very clever,well spoken one. I thought we'd pretty much established that. As far as Romney Ryan's specifics are concerned, go toMittromney.com) I tried to cut and paste the list of specific economic policy actions Romney proposed to enact, but IT WAS TOO LONG TO FIT IN THE SA's comment space. (I can provide a longer list of specific Obama failures if you like.) My favorites are Romney's support for some of Ryan's budget proposals. Specifically, those which decrease the rate of spending growth so we don't drive the US into insolvency. (Like Greece, Spain, Italy, and soon to be France). My second most favorite is the specific proposal to reform/save Medicare from insolvency, shifting to a premium support scheme for those under 55. (Why not, Medicare is going to be bankrupt by then anyway, so this is one solution to that which appears inevitable). There's plenty more. Not my job to read Romney's stated specifics or his convention speech for you.
on September 7,2012 | 02:12PM
HD36 wrote:
We don't need to encourage borrowing and spending. That's how we got into this mess. They need to leave the bond market alone and let market forces determine where interest rates should be. All they are doing is kicking the can a little more and causing massive inflation in the near future.
on September 7,2012 | 07:39AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Obamacare in one sentence. Funny, accurate,and sad, but mainly funny: You Tube http://youtu.be/vdnY8r7_fLw
on September 7,2012 | 07:49AM
SandBar wrote:
Why work when I can eat better with government money. Notice I didn't say 'live better' but with the amount of food stamps given out to families, they sure eat better than i do.
on September 7,2012 | 07:59AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Democrats (Obama) just don't get it. Our economic mess is caused by Gigantic Trade Deficit not by Budget Deficit. Job creation by spending (Obama's stimulus masquerading as a Jobs bill) does not cut it.

However, there is hope when Romney's economic platform included seeking to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. Anything that would lead to the US obtaining a Foreign Trade Surplus is the only way to bring the US out of its economic mess and into prosperity.


on September 7,2012 | 10:53AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Only stupid people believe this garbage. The government reports the number of people who were hired but does not report the number who lost their jobs, which outnumber those that were hired.
on September 7,2012 | 11:40AM
Pacej001 wrote:
But Bill Clinton is a raging liar,although a very clever,well spoken one. I thought we'd pretty much established that. As far as Romney Ryan's specifics are concerned, go toMittromney.com) I tried to cut and paste the list of specific economic policy actions Romney proposed to enact, but IT WAS TOO LONG TO FIT IN THE SA's comment space. (I can provide a longer list of specific Obama failures if you like.) My favorites are Romney's support for some of Ryan's budget proposals. Specifically, those which decrease the rate of spending growth so we don't drive the US into insolvency. (Like Greece, Spain, Italy, and soon to be France). My second most favorite is the specific proposal to reform/save Medicare from insolvency, shifting to a premium support scheme for those under 55. (Why not, Medicare is going to be bankrupt by then anyway, so this is one solution to that which appears inevitable). There's plenty more. Not my job to read Romney's stated specifics or his convention speech for you.
on September 7,2012 | 02:10PM
ufried wrote:
NEWS FLASH!! IM A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER AND I REALLY ON PROFITS... NO PROFIT, NO BUSINESS!!!! WAS THAT SIMPLE ENOUGH FOR YOU LIBS?
on September 7,2012 | 04:48PM
ufried wrote:
SORRY. REALLY RELY ON PROFITS!!!!
on September 7,2012 | 04:49PM
DAGR81 wrote:
In other words...no work, now pay. Government worker need not comment.
on September 7,2012 | 05:07PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs