The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued it's monthly unemployment report for August showing the rate dropped to 8.1 percent making it the 43rd straight month that unemployment has been over 8 percent, which Reuters accurately describes as the longest stretch since the Great Depression.
From the report:
Both the civilian labor force (154.6 million) and the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August.
Via the Reuters:
While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, that was because so many Americans gave up the hunt for work. The survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived actually showed a drop in employment.
The AP makes the same point:
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, the Labor Department said Friday. But that was only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.
368,000 people dropped out of the workforce, while only 96,000 jobs were added.
This led to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to write "For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely." (Source- CNN)
The workgroup breakdown from the Department of Labor shows that "among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.2 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.2 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier."
The 8.1 percent does not include the 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Table A-15 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U6 unemployment, which does include those marginally attached to the labor force, puts the real unemployment at 14.7 percent.
Once again, as they have done over 30 times before, since November 2009, the Obama administration issues their standard line " it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report."
Areas still at or above 8 percent unemployment:
New Jersey- 9.8%
New York - 9.1%
North Carolina- 9.6%
Rhode Island- 10.8%
South Carolina- 9.6%
Data obtained from Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics page. (Right side)