(Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
A day after the Democratic convention ended, the Department of Labor indicated that job growth slowed down last month. It also projected unemployment rate falling to 8.1 percent, but a new Gallup research measure showed joblessness could actually be much worse.
Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, down from 141,000 jobs in July, the Department of Labor said Friday, a day after the Democratic National Convention ended in Charlotte, N.C. It also revised down the employment numbers for the two previous months, which resulted in the economy adding 41,000 fewer jobs than originally reported.
The Labor Department added that the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent in July, with more people ceasing to look for jobs. However, a new research measure from Gallup indicated that the actual unemployment rate could be much worse than the official figures.
Unlike the government, Gallup doesn't count part-time workers or those who are self-employed to give a clearer picture, according to CNN's Fortune Magazine.
Government figures are able to artificially show lower unemployment rates by lumping "good" jobs with "bad" jobs, wrote Gallup CEO Jim Clifton in his blog. A good job refers to at least 30 hours of work a week with a real paycheck. A bad job, on the other hand, is informal or a form of menial self-employment, he explained.
According to Gallup's new Payroll to Population measure, 41 percent of American adults were employed last year, as opposed to the Labor Department showing the employment-to-population rate at 58 percent.
Although this is an initial report on U.S. Payroll to Population, Gallup has collected employment data on Americans daily since January 2010, the research company said. An analysis of the longer-term data finds that August's 45.3 percent measure is the highest Payroll to Population rate since January 2010, it added. August 2012's percentage is significantly higher than August 2011's 44.0 percent and August 2010's 44.2 percent.
However, President Barack Obama found a reason to boast. "Today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, businesses once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row," he said addressing supporters in New Hampshire on Friday. "But that is not good enough. We know that is not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster ... We need to fill the hole left by this recession faster. We need to come out of this crisis stronger than when we went in."
Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement released by the White House that the jobs report showed a recovering economy. "While there is more work that remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression," he said. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."
Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney said the employment scene continues to be disappointing. "After the party last night, the hangover's today," he said ahead of a campaign stop in New Hampshire. "The jobs numbers were disappointing, for almost every new job created, approximately four people dropped out of the workforce. Seeing that kind of report is obviously disheartening to American people that need work and are having a hard time finding work."
Romney added that the president had done almost nothing that give the people confidence in his administration's policies in the areas of jobs and the economy. "And there's certainly nothing he said last night that give the American people confidence that he knows what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy."