Employers slashed 93,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate dipped from 6.2 percent to 6.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department
of Labor reported today.
Job losses continued in manufacturing, information, and other sectors, while
health care and construction added jobs.
The number of factory jobs decreased by 44,000 in August. Since July
2000, manufacturing employment has declined continuously, shedding nearly 16
percent of its jobs.
In August, 1.9 million persons had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. They
represented 21.8 percent of all unemployed persons, about the same as in July.
Nearly 1.7 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, 209,000
higher than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available to work
and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted
as unemployed, however, because they did not actively search for work in the
4 weeks preceding the survey.
Of the 1.7 million, 503,000 were discouraged workers - persons who were not
currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available
for them. The number of discouraged workers has risen by 125,000 over the year.
The other 1.2 million marginally attached had not searched for work for reasons
such as school or family responsibilities.
It is unlikely that the blackout in the Northeast and Midwest in August had
much of an effect on the employment counts, according to the BLS.
The employment report follows recent signs pointing to a turnaround in the
jobs market, but the report casts more doubt on the ailing employment situation.