U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow the momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention.Seriously, no need to spin this one. These numbers were waaaaay below projections, and reinforce the thought that November's election is going to come down to turnout.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for work. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they're looking for a job.
The government also said Friday that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the start of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000.
Friday's report provided fodder for both presidential candidates. Republican nominee Mitt Romney has pointed to 43 straight months in which unemployment has exceeded 8 percent.
At the same time, the report marks the 30th straight month of private-sector job gains, a point Obama and his allies are certain to spotlight.
The report was discouraging throughout. Hourly pay fell, manufacturers cut the most jobs in two years and the number of people in the work force dropped to its lowest level in 31 years.