Today’s Jobs Report — Some Perspective on the Numbers

Sep 7, 2012 6:14pm

A  total of  96,000 jobs were added in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent.

Since the beginning of 2012, the unemployment rate has stayed  in the narrow range between 8.1 and 8.3 percent.  Much of the decline is for the wrong reasons indicative of a weak job market.

It is still possible that the unemployment rate could fall below 8 percent, which would take it to its lowest level since President Obama took office.

The number of unemployed people, 12.5 million, changed little in August.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was  5 million, accounting for 40 percent of the total number of unemployed people.

IN THE PAST TWO YEARS …

Since September 2010, the economy has been steadily adding jobs.

TOTAL PRIVATE JOBS CREATED …

For 30 straight months, there has been private sector job growth, President likes to point out, with 4.6 million private sector jobs created in that time frame.

BUT FOR NOW, 2012 IS FARING WORSE THAN 2011 WHEN IT COMES TO EMPLOYMENT …

Since the beginning of 2012, employment growth has averaged 139,000 jobs per month, compared with an average monthly gain of  153,000 in 2011.

WHERE JOBS WERE ADDED …

Employment in food services and places that serve drinks increased by 28,000 in August.

Employment in professional and technical services rose 27,000.

Computer systems design and related services added 11,000 jobs, and management and technical consulting services added 9,000 jobs.

Health care employment rose by 17,000 in August. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added 14,000 and 6,000 jobs, respectively.

Finance and insurance added 11,000 jobs in August. Employment in wholesale trade continued to trend up.

… AND LOST

Manufacturing employment was down by 15,000.

And 7,000  government jobs were also lost this month.

All job data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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