There was no job growth in August and the job growth numbers for the last two months were revised downwards by 58,000, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment report. Job growth over the last three months has now averaged 35,000, well below the 90,000 needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. Peculiarities like the recent Verizon strike may have reduced the number of jobs in August, but adjusting for that particular factor, job growth would have averaged 50,000 over the last three months. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent.

The employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) did edge up from its recession low to 58.2 percent. The number of people involuntarily working part-time jumped up by 430,000, to 8.8 million. A disproportionate share of the increase in employment in the household survey was among blacks, who saw a rise of 155,000 in employment. However, this went along with a jump in the African American unemployment rate of 0.8 percentage points to 16.7 percent. The unemployment rate for black men rose by 1.0 percentage point to 18.0 percent and for black teens by 7.3 percentage points to 46.5 percent. The EPOP for black teens was just 13.0 percent, a new low for the downturn.

The BLS report shows an economy that is growing, but at such a slow pace that it is not even creating sufficient jobs to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. It is difficult to see how this will change absent a boost from the government.

For more, read the latest Jobs Byte.

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