Jobs Numbers Lower Than Expected

The overall unemployment rate was 8.1 percent; the rate for African Americans was 14.1 percent. 

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Just hours after President Obama said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, "The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades," the Labor Department released worse-than-expected August jobs numbers that illustrated the gravity of the challenge, according to the Washington Post.

The report indicates that employers added just 96,000 positions and more discouraged people are no longer looking for work. A slightly lower 8.1 jobless rate for Americans overall contrasted sharply with a 14.1 percent unemployment rate for African Americans.

Despite the weak growth, the unemployment rate dipped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. But even that was bad news. The jobless rate shrank only because more than 300,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in August, following a trend that has accelerated with the nation’s economic problems. The Labor Department counts only those who are actively seeking a job as unemployed.

The report also said that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The revisions mean that employers have added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below last year’s average of 153,000.

The dour news came just hours after President Obama capped the Democratic National Convention with a rousing speech, asking voters for four more years in office. In his remarks, the president said his administration was making slow but steady progress to improve the struggling economy.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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