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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Joblessness and Unemployment

  • Young adults drop out of the job market, By Chris Isidore, September 7, 2012, CNNMoney: “The drop in the unemployment rate in August isn’t particularly good news for the economy — it’s driven mostly by nearly 400,000 people dropping out of the labor force, rather than more people finding jobs.
    But those dropping out aren’t so much the discouraged 30-, 40- or 50-year olds. In fact, the Labor Department said there was a modest decline in the overall number of discouraged job seekers. The drop is because so many young adults, aged 16 to 24, are no longer looking for work…”
  • Hiring slows, adding to pressure on Fed and Obama, By Nelson D. Schwartz, September 7, 2012, New York Times: “Job growth slowed noticeably in August, increasing the political pressure on the White House and strengthening the argument for new action by Federal Reserve policy makers to stimulate the economy when they meet next week. The economy added a total of 96,000 jobs in August, down from a revised figure of 141,000 in July and well below the 125,000 level economists had been expecting. The latest figures confirm suspicions that the economy has been treading water recently – over the last six months, monthly job growth has averaged 97,000, typically not enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force, let alone reduce the unemployment rate…”
  • U.S. adds 96,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate drops to 8.1 percent, By Michael A. Fletcher, September 7, 2012, Washington Post: “U.S. job creation grew at a distressingly slow pace in August, as employers added just 96,000 positions and more discouraged people stopped looking for work, the Labor Department reported Friday. Despite the weak growth, the unemployment rate dipped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. But even that was bad news. The jobless rate shrank only because more than 300,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in August, following a trend that has accelerated with the nation’s economic problems. The Labor Department counts only those who are actively seeking a job as unemployed…”
  • Why August’s jobs number is likely wrong, By Zachary A. Goldfarb, September 7, 2012, Washington Post: “The news that the economy added just 96,000 jobs in August will be hotly debated by both sides in remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, but one thing is almost certain: The number is wrong. Only once in the past three decades has the government not revised its estimate of how many jobs were created in a given month. It usually takes many weeks, and sometimes years, before economists settle on the most accurate figure…”