August: Lowest Male Employment Rate in History; 4 Stopped Looking for Work for Each New Job

Just 96,000 American jobs were added in August in a bleak monthly jobs report as 368,000 left the workforce, bringing labour market participation down to its lowest level for 31 years and dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.

The national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 per cent, down from 8.2 per cent, but this was only because so many people gave up looking for work. If the participation rate had not dropped so precipitously, unemployment would have risen to 8.4 per cent.

Factory employment fell by the most in two years and temporary-help companies eliminated positions for the first time in five months. The 69.9 per cent labor force participation rate for men is at lowest level recorded since the US government began tracking it in 1948.


According to James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 per cent if the labour force participation rate had remained what it was when Obama took office in January 2009. The U.S. Labour Department also said that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in June and July than previously reported.

President Barack Obama was made aware of the figures before he took the stage to deliver his prime-time address at the Democratic convention on Thursday night, which could account for his sometimes grim demeanour as he spoke.

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  • Doing a Google search… July + jobs + “stopped looking.” Looking for red meat for a local talk radio comment on Monday morning. Difficult to find info on the following: Okay, 368,000 just stopped looking in August. How many stopped looking in June?… in July. Let’s go back to May or April. My question for anyone… Fine, 750,000 jobs were lost in George Bush’s last months (each month?). That’s bad. BUT, isn’t it worse to have 368,000 just stop looking? I mean, I lost my job as a Truck Driver in August 2009. By Sept 2009, I was working again. Great. IF YOU LOSE A JOB, you still have HOPE that you will get a NEW job. WHEN YOU STOP LOOKING, you have finally lost all your HOPE… right? I would maintain that Obama has been an ongoing disaster for people who just lost all “hope and change” and gave up on productive life…. Am I onto something here?? I would almost say that Obama’s 368K was worse than GW’s 750K… and Obama’s disaster just keeps going and going. BTW, again… how many just stopped looking in other months or where is it written down in just one place??