One headline for the August jobs report today read, “US economy added 96,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%”. Well that sounds pretty good, until you look deeper into the numbers to see what it really meant. Economists were expecting 125,000 new jobs in August which would have been much better. You see, in order for our employment rate to stay steady, our economy needs to be adding about 150,000 jobs per month due mostly to new people imigrating to our country. We were 54,000 jobs shy of that breakeven number. One might think that the unemployment rate should have increased since we didn’t meet the 125k job level. The reason the unemployment rate went down is because about 368,000 people who were previously looking for work decided to quit looking all together. That takes them out of the calculation for being unemployed. I’m not sure why they don’t count those people, but I guess the government assumes have retired and don’t need a job anymore. So the unemployment number went from 8.3% down to 8.1%, not really good news for anyone. Now our nations unemployment rate has been above 8% for 42 straight months. The jobs we did add in August were mostly jobs at restaurants and drinking places. Something tells me that those jobs probably don’t pay as much as most people would like to earn, but at least it’s a job. To pour some more salt in the wound, average hourly earnings for those employed in our country went down a little bit. And finally, the employment numbers for June and July were both revised to a lower number than had previously been reported. For the year 2012, we’ve been adding and average of 139,000 jobs per month, compared to 153,000 per month in 2011.
I guess the good news is that we are adding jobs right now instead of losing jobs. And, we’ve been averaging 139,000 new jobs per month so far this year, which is not too far off our breakeven number. Hopefully things will continue to go in a positive direction, and go a little quicker. Our nation needs to get people back to work!