One day after some relatively good news hit, the jobs report released today puts a damper on things.
U.S. job creation kept to a distressingly slow pace in August, as employers added just 96,000 new positions and more discouraged people stopped looking for work, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Despite the weak growth, the unemployment rate dipped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. But even that was bad news. The jobless rate shrank only because more than 300,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in August, following a trend that has accelerated with the nation’s economic problems.
The report also said that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The revisions mean that employers have added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below last year’s average of 153,000.
Here's the relevant graphic. During the year immediately after taking office, under President Obama the employment-population ratio decreased from just over 60.5% to 58.5%. It has persisted at or below that level for nearly the whole time since.
This is not to say that Obama is responsible for the decline (neither is Bush), but the path we've taken over the past three and one-half years has obviously not worked.