The unemployment rate may have dipped down slightly from 8.3 to 8.1 percent this past month, but 844,000 Americans have also stopped looking for jobs.
NPR reports that the national labor force is much smaller now than it was four years ago, due to the rise of ‘Discouraged Workers’ – people who have given up searching for work because they believe there is probably nothing out there for them.
According to the Current Employment Statistics provided by the Labor Department, a mere 96,000 jobs were created in August, down from 141,000 jobs in July. The Current Population Survey Employment measure reports that 119,000 pre-existing jobs also disappeared last month, resulting in a total…. -23,000 available jobs.
No other incumbent president since Franklin Roosevelt has had to grapple with an unemployment rate higher than 7.8 percent during a re-election, let alone a mass exodus of over half a million discouraged job seekers – and Obama knows he has his work cut out for him. (“That’s not good enough,” he said of August’s job report, “we need to create more jobs, faster.”)
But faster, it seems, just cannot come fast enough.