Analysts say August jobs report dismal
The labor department released the August jobs report and the numbers are not what economic analysts expected.
The dismal report could have a ripple effect on the presidential election which is just 60 days away. The labor department reports the economy added 96,000 jobs last month. That number is far less than the 125,000 analysts had expected and mostly fails to keep pace with population growth.
The unemployment rate did drop from 8.3% to 8.1% but that's deceiving. The labor department says it fell mostly because people dropped out of the workforce and gave up looking for a job.
The government only counts those as unemployed if they are actively seeking work. The labor department also revised the June and July employment numbers lower with 41,000 fewer jobs created than estimated.
It was a lukewarm reaction from the markets on Friday with the Dow up and down slightly at the opening bell. Although the economy has stopped shedding jobs, it has added only 139,000 a month since the beginning of the year below last year's average of 153,000.
The relative size of the American workforce also took a hit. Labor participation fell to 63.5%, the lowest in 31 years. The report could prompt the Federal Reserve to take new action to stimulate the economy when it meets next week in Washington D.C.
The report comes out just two months before Election Day and both sides will address it, making their case for the White House.