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Economy Adds 169K Jobs; Unemployment Falls to 7.3 Percent

The Department of Labor today reported that the U.S. economy created 169,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent.

But the news is really not so great.

Part of the reason for the slight drop in unemployment was that the civilian labor force participation rate declined a bit. At 63.2 percent, it’s the lowest rate in 35 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And 169,000 jobs is slightly below expectations and will do little to drive down unemployment. The economy needs to add about 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with the normal growth in the workforce. According to the left-leaning Brookings Institution, for the economy to make up the jobs lost to the recession in four years, it would have to create about 300,000 jobs a month.

What’s more, the DOL revised down the jobs gains for June and July, putting the average growth over those two months to 134,000 each month:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +188,000 to +172,000, and the change for July was revised from +162,000 to +104,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 74,000 less than previously reported.

None of this is a sign that the recovery is picking up much steam.

16 thoughts on “Economy Adds 169K Jobs; Unemployment Falls to 7.3 Percent”

  1. Well stated. Maybe things are a little better than 3 years ago, but they are far from good. Anyone who runs a business knows that the economy is not well, regardless of what the stats may say. The folks that do have jobs are just hanging onto them, hoping that they don’t have to join the ranks of job-seekers. Meaningful discretionary spending is still a luxury to most families.

  2. Say… anyone know how many Baby Boomers reach the retirement window everymonth? Sorting through all this Obamanomics is starting be like pushing water uphill with a rake.

    1. Found it…wasn’t as hard as I thought. About 10K people turn 65 every day or 300K per month. Not sure what the implication is on participation rate and aggregate employment yet.

  3. …and all we’ll hear from the liberal left is how low the unemployment rate is, down to 7.3

    Similar to what sKerry said,
    “With the WMD’s & chemical weapons being used in Syria and you want to talk about unemployment???”

    Liars, all of ’em.

  4. The economy is not picking up steam, we’re picking up moss. How many of those new jobs are part time? And have you noticed that the jobs numbers always seem to get revised down. The only reason the stock market is doing well is due to all the corporate money that is not being reinvested (and the feds pumping, but that’s another issue). Companies that might have used their capital to expand are sitting on it and they have to make some interest on it so they’ve parked it in the market. It’s a huge bubble waiting to pop.

    1. Spot on, Robin. America is beginning to atrophy after years of Keynesian economics and wealth redistribution. Add the newest government entitlement program of student loans to the mix, and once the bubbles burst America will look like a vast wasteland.

  5. It’s okay, according to Obama’s press conference today, the “world economy is improving”. and we are “building on the gains from the past couple of months” (paraphrasing, can’t remember the exact words). Wha??

  6. Wasn’t this Obummers plan from the outset.
    1) Expand the government programs and assistance making it easier for “folks” not to work.
    2) Punish the private sector to reduce profitability and push employees to the government safety net.
    3) Expand the size and scope of governtment to the point where more “controls” are in place
    4) Since none of this will not grow the economy to reduce the unemployment rate then he will reduce the number of “real” workers participating to make the unemployment numbers look better.
    When the active participation rate drops under 50% are we then really in a irreversable situation?

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