WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The White House says that the August jobs report shows that the nation is continuing to recover, despite more Americans giving up their job search.
Alan Krueger, chairman for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, writes in The White House Blog that it is “important to not read too much into” just one monthly jobs report.
“While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” Krueger explained. “It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”
The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 to 8.1 percent, only because 368,000 people gave up looking for a job.
Employers only added 96,000 jobs last month, despite analysts predicting some 125,000.
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.
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.
“This weak jobs report is going to feed into (the Fed’s) argument that the economy is growing at a sub-par pace,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.
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.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Obama and the Democrats had plenty of plans to create more jobs and boost the economy but Republicans “keep standing in the way of growth and certainty for our economy.”
There will be two additional employment reports before the election. But by then, more Americans will have made up their minds.
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