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Unemployment Inches Up Again in August

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its unemployment figures for the month of August and the national average is back up:  9.6%

A net 54,000 jobs were lost in August, with 14.9 million Americans looking for work.  “Involuntary” part-time employment increased to 330,000.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) talked tax cuts in a statement after the release of the latest figures.

“As we celebrate Labor Day Weekend, it’s important to put today’s unemployment report in perspective,” Cantor said.  “It’s easy to look at these figures and think of them as mere statistics, but it’s important to remember that there are millions of Americans who are looking for work and are struggling to support their families, businesses, and meet their obligations. We owe it to them to get our fiscal house in order and to get America working again.”

Cantor said the jobs report demonstrates the American economy still has a long way to go, pointing to the continued uncertainty for job creators as tax increases and the ever-growing impact of Obamacare and threats of other jobs-crippling Democrat legislation (i.e., cap and trade national energy tax, “card check”) loom on the horizon.

“On January 1, one of two things will happen. Taxes will either go up or they will stay the same for all Americans, many of whom run businesses and hire their own employees,” Cantor said. The very last thing these Americans need is thousands of dollars in new taxes, which will increase the chances of a double dip recession.  If the President is as focused as his administration on getting people back to work and removing uncertainty from America’s business climate, taking massive tax hikes out of the equation would be a welcome first step in the process.”

The BLS offers more information on the numbers at the link

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons (14.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.6 percent) were little changed in August. From May through August, the jobless rate remained in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 percent.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.3 percent), whites (8.7 percent), blacks (16.3 percent), and Hispanics (12.0 percent) showed little change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.2 percent, not season ally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) declined by 323,000 over the month to 6.2 million. In August, 42.0 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

In August, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.7 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were essentially unchanged.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 331,000 over the month to 8.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in August, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the
4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in August, an increase of 352,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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Connie Hair writes a weekly column for HUMAN EVENTS. She is a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).

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