In some pretty dire economic news, today the Labor Department has announced that the U.S. economy added NO NET JOBS in the month of August. None. Analysts had estimated that something like 75,000 new jobs — between 60,000 and 100,000 — would be created. Instead, there was a net of zero, with factors to blame including the S&P downgrade, increased layoffs, and the fact that 45,000 Verizon workers were on strike (the good news: They have since returned to their jobs). The unemployment rate stays at 9.1. percent.
In order to drop the unemployment rate, about 250,000 jobs need to be added monthly — that’s the same number of added jobs monthly necessary in order to put the unemployment rate at below 8 percent in time for the 2012 election, say some analysts.
The “no new jobs” stat has not happened in the U.S., historically, since 1945, and no incumbent since FDR has been elected to a second term with an unemployment rate over 7.2 percent. Clearly, this is neither good for President Obama, nor for American morale in general.
One bright (or dim?) spot, according to the New York Times,
There seems to be a consensus among economists that the United States will skirt a double-dip recession but that growth will linger at levels barely perceptible, much less comforting, to Americans without jobs. “We’ve got at least another 12 months of difficulty to go through,” said Steven Ricchiuto, United States economist for Mizuho Securities USA Inc. “I know that doesn’t help politicians who are worried about the elections.”
A White House report said the unemployment rate would not fall to 6 percent until 2016.
Not so Happy Labor Day.