Unemployment Rate Remains 9.1% in August, Zero Net Jobs Added
Photo by Getty Images
While private payrolls rose slightly, the government lost 17,000 jobs, with local governments hit especially hard. Factory and construction employment also fell. The Verizon strike, which subtracted 45,000 workers — now back to work — also affected the total.
Some economists had predicted an addition of 60,000 jobs. Friday’s figures, which follows an 85,000 increase in July, reflect persistent loss of confidence in the prospects for imminent economic recovery.
The first U.S. credit downgrade, political squabbling over the budget and mounting fear of a default in Europe caused the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to plummet 17 percent from July 22 to Aug. 8, prompting companies and consumers to cut back.
President Obama is set to deliver a major speech on jobs to Congress on Thursday. He will present a plan to spur job growth, but the political climate would likely make large-scale government action difficult to implement.
The dragging economy and poor job numbers have pushed the president’s approval ratings down. In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, more than half of voters said they disapprove of his job performance.