Added by David Sandercock on September 3, 2011
An alarming report, the Employment Situation Summary, issued by the US Labour Department on Friday morning (1:30pm UTC/GMT), revealed that the US August unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. Making matters worse, total employment numbers were revised downwards by 57,000 for June and July.
Markets responded with the Dow Jones down 253 points by the close of trading. Economists blamed both poor demand for goods and services, economic uncertainty, and the slow pace of job creation.
“There is really a darkening cloud that seems to hover over the U.S. economy because of the lack of progress being made on economic issues,” said Bernard Baumohl, the chief economist at the Economic Outlook Group. “There is extreme frustration with Congress and the administration not working together to address the fiscal issues.”
The overall unemployment rate of 9.1% includes people that actively looked for work during the previous four weeks. Another key figure is the number of people that have looked for work during the previous year and people that were working involuntarily part-time, as opposed to full-time, fell to 16.1%. The vital statistic is that the percentage of working-age people is 58.6%, down from 58.5% and it’s lowest level in 28 years.
In the first drop since January 2008, hourly earnings declined 0.1% from July, yet that follows a slight increase of 0.5% the previous month.
Experts were quoted as expecting at least another 12 months of difficulty ahead; however, economists’ view that the economy will continue to grow, although very slowly, remains unchanged as a result of this report.