THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION – AUGUST 2011
Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.
The Obama administration now says U.S. unemployment could persist at its current stubbornly high level around 9% well into 2012.
A new economic forecast released Thursday suggests the White House is bracing for a weak economy in the coming election year, while bolstering President Barack Obama’s calls for more government action to boost hiring and economic growth.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress next Thursday to outline his latest economic proposals. His ideas could include “a mix of tax cuts to create jobs and provide economic security to the middle class, [and] innovative infrastructure ideas to put people back to work,” as well as measures aimed at the long-term unemployed, the report said. White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested the measures could push the unemployment rate below 9%, but he also sought to avoid making predictions.
Republicans attacked the report released by the Office of Management and Budget as the latest evidence that the administration’s policies aren’t working either to create jobs or reduce federal budget deficits. “By its own admission, the Obama Administration’s record on job creation and fiscal responsibility is abysmal,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee.