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Zero Job Creation in August as Economy, Recession-Bound, Posts Year’s Worst Showing

| September 2, 2011

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The economy’s job engine is stalled. No jobs were created in August, although the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent, where it has hovered for the last six months–an unlikely number, given underlying trends and the large number of people leaving the unemployment rolls not because they have found a job, but because they are too discouraged to keep looking.

Job-creation figures for June and July were also revised downward , lowering those two months’ numbers from 163,000 new jobs to 105,000.

Economists had predicted 60,000 new jobs. There are a couple of caveats to the dismal numbers, but minor ones: 45,000 Verizon workers were on strike at the time of the Labor Department’s survey, depressing the jobs number somewhat–but not by much. Also, when declines in government jobs are excluded, private-sector payrolls increased again, but by just 17,000.

The number of unemployed Americans held at 14 million, but the number of people working part-time involuntarily, either because they had their hours cut back or because they couldn’t find-full-time work, soared by 400,000, to 8.8 million. That’s again the highest figure since last August.

Another 2.6 million people were considered marginally attached to the labor force, an increase of 200,000 in one month. Those are able-bodied workers who want to work, but hadn’t looked for work in the past four weeks, so they were not counted among the unemployed. Six million people, or 42.9 percent of the unemployed, have been out of work for six months or more. The longer a person is unemployed, the less likely that person will find a job.

When the number of officially unemployed workers is added to involuntary part-timers and the marginal workers, the number soars to 25.4 million, out of a labor force of 153.6 million, or an effective rate of unemployed or under-employed of 16.5 percent. That figure may still be an under-count, because the labor force of 153.6 million does not include individuals who have dropped out of the work force altogether, either because they have quit looking for work or because their unemployment benefits have run out.

A few highlights of the August jobs report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment, at 131.1 million, was unchanged (0) in
August. Employment changed little in most major private-sector industries.
(See table B-1.)

The White House prefers to focus on private payrolls, which still show a slight, but declining, gain.

Health care employment rose by 30,000. Mining added 6,000 jobs. Computer systems design and related services added 8,000, temporary help services added 5,000. Employment in the information industry declined by 48,000 in August. That number includes the 45,000 Verizon workers. Manufacturing lost 3,000 jobs. Construction, trade, transportation, and utilities, financial activities and tourism changed little over the month.

Government jobs continued to drop (a loss of 17,000 in August) even after 22,000 government workers returned to work in Minnesota, after a government shut-down there. Since employment peaked in September 2008, local government has lost 550,000 jobs.

The average workweek was down by 0.1 hour, 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek was 40.3 hours for the third consecutive month; factory overtime increased by 0.1 hour, to 3.2 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private payrolls decreased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.09. This decline followed an 11-cent gain in July. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.9 percent.


“Business confidence surveys have uniformly pointed to businesses who are not laying off workers, but who are holding off on hiring while they wait for a clearer outlook — an outlook that became much cloudier and more volatile” beginning with the debt-ceiling battle in July. Ellen Zentner, senior United States economist for Nomura Securities, quoted in The New York Times.

“We’ve got at least another 12 months of difficulty to go through,” Steven Ricchiuto, United States economist for Mizuho Securities USA, told The Times. “I know that doesn’t help politicians who are worried about the elections.”

Chad Moutray, chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers: “This report is not good news, but it is not inconsistent with other recent indicators. On Wednesday, the ADP report said that manufacturing employment fell by 4,000 workers, which is nearly identical to today’s reading. With much of the policy focus over the coming weeks on job creation – including President Obama’s speech to Congress next Thursday – today’s numbers will embolden those who argue for new initiatives to stimulate economic growth. They will also put more pressure on the Federal Reserve Board, as it plans to meet September 20 and 21 to discuss possible measures, including whether or not to have a third round of quantitative easing.”

Katharine Abraham, member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers: “Despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds experienced throughout the year, the economy has added private sector jobs for 18 straight months, for a total of 2.4 million jobs over that period. Clearly, faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. Today’s report underscores the President’s call for Congress to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep workers on the job and keep critical highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit and other important projects moving forward. Next week, the President will lay out a series of additional bipartisan steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the paychecks of working and middle class families; to make it easier for small businesses to hire workers; to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure; and other measures that will help the economy grow while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order.”

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16 Responses for “Zero Job Creation in August as Economy, Recession-Bound, Posts Year’s Worst Showing”

  1. Janice Cahill says:

    I believe new requirements for filing unemployment were put into place Aug. 1st, which will also deter some people from filing.

  2. Nickolas Davis ‎ says:

    @ Janice Cahill – You are right. They now require anyone filing for unemployment to apply for 5 jobs a week (up from 2 a week). However, if you are unable to complete 5 you are told they need to report to a One Stop Career Center why they are unable able to do so. Well, in my opinion, if the economy is not creating jobs, how are we to apply for something that does not exist!?!?!

    I sadly predict it’s only going to get worse in the coming year.

    Oh yeah, not to mention the fact companies are now posting jobs that require you to be currently employed in order to apply. So, what are the unemployed to do….

  3. NortonSmitty says:

    There is no mystery to the lack of job creation. Here are the three main ones, in chronological order:

    1.- Ross Perot, 1992 Presidential debate: “If we pass NAFTA< that giant sucking sound you hear will be all of the good jobs leaving America." Anybody want to debate this point today?

    2.- Grover Norquist, 1999, If a Democrat is ever elected President, we will control the discourse and funding so he will not be able to govern like a Democrat. (Rough cut of many quotes)

    3.- Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader. "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,"

    So, after a decade of job losses to Mexico, China and any Third-World country you could name, Bush empties the piggy-bank on his way out the door for the International Banks, Insurance swindlers and Multi-Nationals that could care less about America or it's workers. Grover, Fox, and the Pimps behind the TeaBaggers make sure raising revenues from the rich and corporations is considered Socialism by the very workers it would help. Then Mitch McConnell makes the one last true statement to the press before he starts his marching orders. Read it again. He didn't even try to deny or sugarcoat it. Hell, he was proud of it.


    Not jobs, justice, defense or anything that would be good for America, or good for it's people. No. the most important thing is that we return Republicans to power in the White House.

    So if we have to fight to make sure the Stimulus Package is too small so the unemployment rate stays high, so be it. If we have to obstruct and delay critical infrastructure improvements or anything else the Dems could take credit for, so be it. If we have to drive this country into the dirt, ruin it's credit, starve it's people and bury small businesses, so fucking what? Read it again:


    You said it up front. You don't even try to hide what is most important to you and the greedy pigs you answer to. Power and the whole damn American Pie.

    And you wonder why I hate your greedy guts


  4. Outsider says:

    Don’t worry folks; Obama is going to give a SPEECH next week, and the economy will recover. If we’re lucky, he may put a couple of styrofoam columns in the background thus ensuring a strong rebound. And if he really wants to spur the economy, he will utter these words: “Effective immediately, I am resigning my position as president of the United States. Oh yeah, the dunce is resigning also.”

  5. NortonSmitty says:

    Outsider, if it only were that simple. There isn’t a dimes worth of difference between Obama and Bush. Coke or Pepsi. Earnhardt or Gordon. Remington or Winchester. Hellmans or Miracle Whip. Ford or Chevy. Spit or Swallow, it don’t fucking matter!

    You think that you are rooting for the right side, the side of the Angels. Sorry. It’s too late. It’s over.

    But it will make it a lot easier if the public is divided in half so they can impotently piss away their righteous anger on each other while we scare them, steal all the money and normalize the boot on their throat.

    You know, Democrat or Republican.

  6. georgiaflint says:

    We live in a man created, manufactur­ed world.

  7. Rob says:

    There should be plenty of jobs right?

    Because the rich are using the tax breaks that they have been receiving over the last 7 to 10 years to create jobs.
    At least that is the snow job that those in congress wish the foolish to believe.

    And the sad part is that the foolish do believe.

    Congress protects and serves those who pay them and I am not referring to their salary they are paid.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Excellent Norton Smitty!!
    Yeap.. not jobs for Americans on the plans of these retarded one’s like Mitch McConnell but to make sure that this president is a one term only! This is the status quo of our economy and the tourniquet applied to it by the wealthy corporations backing this statement while holding on to their wealth and NOT HIRING!
    This is why we, small businesses, need to fight hard for receive more of our tax funded contracts so then WE can hire and destroy this “extreme” conservative agenda.

  9. palmcoaster says:

    I want all the top of the line Health Insurance Coverage provided by us, the tax payers, to all elected officials federal, state and local to stop inmediately. I refuse to pay for that while these Republicans and others refuse to approve Universal Health Care Insurance for all Americans. Because people can’t afford our current “magnificent” system is why daily tragedies like this one take place. for all Americans. Simply for daily tragedies taking place like this one ;


    ask Palm Coast Data to add some jobs rather then cutting them

  11. Liana G says:


    Mitch McConnell is just doing what he is told to do – create distraction. The rich know they have to keep the common people distracted to divert attention from the wealth inequality in this country. Class wealth (super rich, uppers, upper middle class, lower middle class, middle class, lower class, poor) should be the main focus in this country right now, instead we’re still going on and on about skin tone because for some reason it’s more important. Well I prefer to be a wealthy brown woman discriminated against than a poor brown woman discriminated against. At least I’ll have the rescource to either fight it, or not give a rat’s a$$. But that’s just me.

  12. Layla says:

    Janice, you are absolutely right about the unemployment requirements. They are going to be rough on people.

    Palmcoaster, if I object to Obama’s healthcare plan it is because I know I will be paying for those who cannot, who will not. And soon I will be one of them. I am not rich. I saved some money for my retirement to pay my medical bills but it is rapidly dwindling. I am angry at a government that could have/should have done something about the soaring cost DECADES ago.

    I am angry at a President who promised to hold hearings, allow input. He lied. And we allow him to get away with that. That does not make me a racist. Things done undercover usually are not in the best interests of the people, at any level of government.

    I do agree about not paying Congressional benefits. If they had been required to shop like the rest of us, we would not be in this mess. But we reward them by either reelecting them or not voting. And they know we will do it.

    JMiller, do you think Palm Coast data is laying off to make more profit? They are barely hanging on. Their situation is the same as yours. Many of their accounts have left them, we will be lucky if they do not shut down and send those jobs overseas. Everyone else has.

    Listen to the tone of this country. Listen to the anger, the class envy, the divisiveness around you being created by Washington.

    We allow ourselves to be put into catagories by politicians who need us to be there as campaign fodder in order for them to stay in office. We have sat back in ignorance and allowed them to pass laws like NAFTA. Most Americans don’t even know what that is.

    We have allowed them to take our precious freedoms away, one by one, in the same of safety. They now control every aspect of our lives when their only job was to keep this country safe from all intruders, foreign and domestic. They suck at that, too.

    You have one very precious right in this country, above all others anywhere in the world….the right to BE what you want TO BE. If you are successful, it is likely because of your efforts. And if you are not, it is likely because you believed the politicians.

    Hell, most of you won’t even bother to vote. We excel at bitching and hatred in this country now. We’re all morons, teabaggers, libtards, racists to name a few. And both parties have us pointing fingers at the other side as the cause of all this. Divide and conquer seems to be working quite nicely.

    Washington has you convinced it is the other side’s fault you are down and out. That’s a lie. It’s YOUR fault. And you make it worse by believing them. What’s it done for you? NOTHING.

    WE’RE the cause of all this, those of us who don’t pay attention, who have no tolerance for another’s opinion or viewpoint, those of us too lazy to go to school, those of us who have never been to a voting booth, those of us who believe everything we are told, those of us who would rather sit back and collect welfare than even THINK about a bright future. Sure….why NOT let the other guy pay? He’s rich, he can afford it. We’re entitled!

    How many of you even know that only about 49% are paying taxes in this country right now, that most cities cannot even collect normal fines owed them anymore, money needed for revenue? There are not enough rich people in the WORLD to keep us going if we do not get off our asses and DO SOMETHING about our present situation. You do NOT get to sit this one out. Get up, get out of that chair. Vote them ALL OUT if necessary, but take responsibility for your country.

    You are now witnessing a nation bled DRY by those making a career on welfare, those entering the country illegally and taking your jobs, politicians who will allow anything to further their own reelection prospects, CEO’s, athletes and movie stars who control your every move because they keep these politicans in office, both sides…. Politicians who have figured out that there is a one in ten chance you will ever show up at the polls to vote them out. TRUE!

    We MUST come together, without the politics, if we are going to pull ourselves out of this one. And everyone must do his share, meet his responsibilities or we are going down. Washington has you convinced it is the other side’s fault you are down and out. That’s a lie. It’s YOUR fault. And you make it worse by believing them. What’s it done for you? NOTHING.

    Start by VOTING, get involved, learn the issues. Volunteer to help someone. Believe in yourself and believe in this country. Don’t let others make decisions for you. And don’t allow people to get away with not voting. That is beyond ignorance.

    Hell, run for office! We need you. (That was directed at you, Palmcoaster.)

    Hope I didn’t offend anyone. Just some of my own thoughts. I get worked up easily. Think of it as a tirade and not a personal criticism.

    NEXT for the soapbox!

  13. NortonSmitty says:


    Layla, your rant was absolutely beautiful! It sounds like what I’ve been screaming about on these pages for years. Every day more and more people are getting to this level of concern, angry and realizing we are getting screwed and we had better do something quick before it’s too late. And they are all right! I agree with about everything you said, and I’ve said most of it myself.

    Except the cause of it all.

    This is the problem. We all know we are getting screwed, but we are passionately divided about who is behind it. By your comments, You believe that welfare cheats, immigrants and poor people who don’t pay taxes are what is killing the rest of us. I believe that you couldn’t be further from the real culprits. The total percentage of taxes spent on “welfare”, which has been restricted so much that even pregnant poor women have a hard time getting it, is less than 1% of all taxes collected. How is that a big problem? Immigrants are allowed to come here by big business and the government to keep wages low and make us all beg for work and give the big corporations everything they want. The median family income in this country is about $30 thousand dollars. THAT IS THE AVERAGE. The bottom half of this country are left to fight over less than 15% of the wealth here. The top 3% fights over about 65% of the wealth. The middle class scrambles for the rest. A couple earning at the poverty level, around $20k, pays 15% of their income in taxes. A trust fund manager that makes hundreds of millions pays 19% BEFORE DEDUCTIONS! This is fair?

    These are my opinions, but they are based on facts I had to dig for myself. I believe you have been sold a bill of goods about our country’s problems by the greatest propaganda machine ever devised. Don’t think you can’t be sold, we all can.

    I was glad to read your putting a boot to us all to vote. But I believe we are all being sold this conflict to divide us evenly down the middle. This keeps us powerless over our politicians, because the big boys can sway at least 10% with millions in ad money. Your vote cancels mine, and vice versa. The 10% that likes his Hair, her Legs or that zinger he said in that ad I see all the time rule us all. That’s the way it works now.

    Pulling a lever with D or R isn’t going to change any of it.

  14. palmcoaster says:

    Today I heard on 89.1 NPR station, the report that these current wars take about 700 billions a year. I resent that our President has not stopped these wars yet, as promised. Stop the wars and bring our soldiers home and put them to work along with some unemployed to repair our infrastructure with those funds. Have the wealthy and corporations pay the same tax rate we, middle class and workers pay, and more than half of our budget deficit will be resolved.
    Tax imports, specially the items made overseas by American Corporations moving heir factories elsewhere.Stop all outsourcing we don’t need it! Otherwise we will continuo sinking and without jobs.
    Our fellow Americans ” do not choose to be without health insurance, they have no other choice as food in the table is first” I want all local, state and federal elected officials “top of the line health insurance paid by us all” to be canceled immediately. Have them pay their own like we all have to do and as many are also millionaires, sure can afford it. Stop the partisan fights in DC and get down to create jobs other than manipulating the fall of this President. When we elected Bush we all collaborated with him even while he made big blunders. Now Americans need jobs, for heaven sake, stop the show off about who is the biggest chief and get to work, that is why we elect you for. We need to vote out all the one’s that keep us in this muck at city, county, state and federal level.

  15. Sherry Epley says:

    Right On Palmcoaster and Norton Smitty!

    It was very interesting to be in England when the Rupert Murdock scandel hit. No one has mentioned the tremendous impact of those that control and manipulate the propaganda filled “nightly news”. The media message (often filled with lies or a purposeful slant on the truth) controls the opinion of our lazy, “lemmings to the sea” public opinion. Critical thinking has gone the way of honesty, ethics and integrity. . . Vanished! VOTE, but do so with an opinion formed from your own research and analysis of the issues, policy and person. If all you bother to do is be lead by the nose by Murdock (FOX) /Rush and company. . . please, do us all a favor and don’t contribute further to the downfall of our country.

    Check out the demise of the “Fairness Doctrine” during the Reagan administration:
    From TIME magazine:

    The act is rooted in the media world of 1949, when lawmakers became concerned that by virtue of their near-stranglehold on nationwide TV broadcasting, the three main television networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — could misuse their broadcast licenses to set a biased public agenda. The Fairness Doctrine, which mandated that broadcast networks devote time to contrasting views on issues of public importance, was meant to level the playing field. Congress backed the policy in 1954, and by the 1970s the FCC called the doctrine the “single most important requirement of operation in the public interest — the sine qua non for grant of a renewal of license.” (See 25 people to blame for the financial crisis.)

    The Supreme Court proved willing to uphold the doctrine, eking out space for it alongside the First Amendment. In 1969’s Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, journalist Fred Cook sued a Pennsylvania Christian Crusade radio program after a radio host attacked him on air. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld Cook’s right to an on-air response under the Fairness Doctrine, arguing that nothing in the First Amendment gives a broadcast license holder the exclusive right to the airwaves they operate on. But when Florida tried to hold newspapers to a similar standard in 1974’s Miami Herald Publishing Co. V. Tornillo, the Supreme Court was less receptive. Justices agreed that newspapers — which don’t require licenses or airwaves to operate — face theoretically unlimited competition, making the protection of the Fairness Doctrine unneeded.

    The doctrine stayed in effect, and was enforced until FCC chairman Mark Fowler began rolling it back during Reagan’s second term — despite complaints from some in the Administration that it was all that kept broadcast journalists from thoroughly lambasting Reagan’s policies on air. In 1987, the FCC panel repealed the Fairness Doctrine altogether with a 4-0 vote.

  16. Liana G says:

    @ Layla who says

    …”They now control every aspect of our lives when their only job was to keep this country safe from all intruders, foreign and domestic. They suck at that, too.”…

    That is their only job? And considering they and us are the intruders, unless of course they and us are Native Americans, this is a rather self derogatory statement.

    …”You have one very precious right in this country, above all others anywhere in the world….the right to BE what you want TO BE. If you are successful, it is likely because of your efforts. And if you are not, it is likely because you believed the politicians.”…

    The unemployed – those who have been laid off and recent college graduates unable to find work will definitely disagree with you on this one. And how do you explain hard data that shows female employees, including those with more experience and qualification, are paid less than their male colleagues.

    …”Hell, most of you won’t even bother to vote. We excel at bitching and hatred in this country now. We’re all morons, teabaggers, libtards, racists to name a few. And both parties have us pointing fingers at the other side as the cause of all this. Divide and conquer seems to be working quite nicely.”…

    Research shows that the two main reasons many Americans do not vote are: a belief that the political system is designed by elites to favor elites (the founding fathers were not poor proles), and their lack of understanding of the basic voting process keep them from being involved. We can blame public education for this.

    …”Washington has you convinced it is the other side’s fault you are down and out. That’s a lie. It’s YOUR fault. And you make it worse by believing them. What’s it done for you? NOTHING.”…

    If you honestly believe this, they truly have YOU convinced. May I suggest you read ‘Class – A guide through the American Status System’ by Paul Fussell, English Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of ‘The Dumbing of America’.

    Here is one review, “Paul Fussell explodes the sacred American myth of social equity…whether your class is so high it’s out of sight (literally) or you are, alas, a sinking victim of prole drift.”

    Here is an excerpt –
    …“ The newly arrived, eager, upwardly mobile person,… sweaty from his climb up the class ladder, wipes his brow and learns that the doors to full recognition and acceptance are still closed to him.”…

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