Weak job growth makes bold Fed action more likely

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August, a tepid figure that points to the economy's persistent weakness. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July — mainly because more people gave up looking for jobs.

FED TO ACT?

Most economists say they expect the Federal Reserve to announce action to try to stimulate the economy. And many now think the Fed will make the boldest move it can — a third round of bond buying to try to lower long-term interest rates.

WORK FORCE SHRINKS

The unemployment rate declined in August, because the number of people working or looking for work shrank in August by 368,000, the government said.

CANDIDATES REACT

President Barack Obama: "We know it's not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster."

Mitt Romney: "We're going in the wrong direction."

12 MILLION JOBS?

Romney is trumpeting a lofty goal: create 12 million jobs in four years — an average of 250,000 a month. Is that wildly unrealistic? After all, monthly job gains this year have averaged 139,000. Yet forecasting firm Moody's.com foresees 12 million more jobs from 2012 through 2016, regardless of who's president. Moody's assumes the economy will return to stronger growth.

Associated Press

Analysis, 7A

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August, a tepid figure that points to the economy's persistent weakness. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July — mainly because more people gave up looking for jobs.The sluggish job growth could slow the momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain. There will be two more job reports before Election Day. Factory jobs bear brunt, Business, 4B

Hourly pay fell in August, 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. That said, most economists say they expect the Federal Reserve to announce action to try to stimulate the economy. Many now think the Fed will make the boldest move it can — a third round of bond buying to try to lower long-term interest rates. Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, thinks the Fed will focus any new purchases on mortgage-backed securities to try to lower mortgage rates and boost the housing recovery.

The unemployment rate declined in August, because the number of people working or looking for work shrank in August by 368,000, the government said.

President Barack Obama: "We know it's not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster."

Mitt Romney: "We're going in the wrong direction."

Romney is trumpeting a lofty goal: create 12 million jobs in four years — an average of 250,000 a month. Is that wildly unrealistic? After all, monthly job gains this year have averaged 139,000. Yet forecasting firm Moody's.com foresees 12 million more jobs from 2012 through 2016, regardless of who's president. Moody's assumes the economy will return to stronger growth.

Associated Press

Analysis, 7A

FED TO ACT?

WORK FORCE SHRINKS

CANDIDATES REACT

12 MILLION JOBS?

The unemployment rate declined in August, because the number of people working or looking for work shrank in August by 368,000, the government said. The reasons vary, economists say. Many people, after months of looking for a job without success, give up. But this group of "discouraged" workers doesn't fully capture the phenomenon. New parents, for example, may quit a job to focus on raising children. An older worker who's laid off may claim Social Security benefits instead of looking for a new job.

President Barack Obama: "We know it's not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster."

Mitt Romney: "We're going in the wrong direction."

Romney is trumpeting a lofty goal: create 12 million jobs in four years — an average of 250,000 a month. Is that wildly unrealistic? After all, monthly job gains this year have averaged 139,000. Yet forecasting firm Moody's.com foresees 12 million more jobs from 2012 through 2016, regardless of who's president. Moody's assumes the economy will return to stronger growth.

Associated Press

Analysis, 7A

President Barack Obama: "We know it's not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster."

Mitt Romney: "The president has been unable to deliver on virtually any'' of his promises.

Romney is trumpeting a lofty goal: create 12 million jobs in four years — an average of 250,000 a month. Is that wildly unrealistic? After all, monthly job gains this year have averaged 139,000. Yet forecasting firm Moody's.com foresees 12 million more jobs from 2012 through 2016, regardless of who's president. Moody's assumes the economy will return to stronger growth.

Associated Press

Analysis, 7A

Romney is trumpeting a lofty goal: create 12 million jobs in four years — an average of 250,000 a month. Is that wildly unrealistic? After all, monthly job gains this year have averaged 139,000. Yet forecasting firm Moody's.com foresees 12 million more jobs from 2012 through 2016, regardless of who's president. Moody's assumes the economy will return to stronger growth. That said, another recession would chill anyone's job estimates.

Associated Press

Weak job growth makes bold Fed action more likely 09/07/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 10:06pm]

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