Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment

Unemployment rate creeps up

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The August employment report showed subpar employment growth. The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 9.6% in August, while the private sector added just 67,000 jobs. This was the eighth straight month of gains in the private sector, but it was lower than the average 99,000 monthly job gains of the first seven months, and it is not robust enough to bring the unemployment rate down.
Private sector employment growth, while positive, is underperforming, and not strong enough to provide jobs for new workers and the 14.9 million unemployed workers anytime soon. It is time for the government to do substantially more to create jobs. With a 9.6% unemployment rate and slowing wage growth, the private sector as yet unable to provide a robust jobs recovery, and the Recovery Act fading out, it is time for bold action to create jobs and put America back to work. -Heidi Shierholz


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