Unemployment hits 9.7% in August

The new figures are out on employment and there is some good news and bad news.

The good news is that the rate of job loss has slowed considerably - probably because employers have cut their labor force to the bone already and simply can't cut anymore without it affecting their production. The nation lost about 216,000 jobs which was less than most economists were predicting.

The bad news is that the unemployment rate shot up to 9.7%, up from July's 9.4%. More people quit looking for work. More people are working part time.

There really is no way to spin this as good news - unless you are the New York Times and in the tank for the administration. Here's Jack Healy making a brave effort to put a smiley face on these wretched numbers:

Overall, the figures evinced a dreary - but not desperate - landscape.

The slower pace of job losses suggested that the worst recession since the 1930s was losing steam, but the figures offered few hints that employers who had slashed their payrolls to conserve money were ready to hire again. Economists say employers must create 300,000 to 400,000 jobs a month to bring unemployment rates back to pre-recession levels - a difficult hurdle after such a prolonged downturn.

I suppose "dreary" may be a word that someone with a job might use to describe those numbers. The unemployed may very well see the situation as "desperate" however.

As is its custom, the BLS issued revised figures on unemployment for the previous two months. Not surprisingly, those numbers increased substantially as well.

Ed Lasky adds:

I reiterate: employers will do everything they can not to hire people when they realize that a Democratic Congress controlled by the most left-wing of its members, a President who is anti-free enterprise, and government regulatory agencies increasingly being sold to AFL-CIO and SEIU leaders has been and will be targeting them (instead of , let's say terrorists and thugs like Hugo Chavez).

A businessman would be very imprudent to add employees - at least ones in America - when one faces the prospect of vastly increased costs and burdensome rules and regulations which serve as a tax on employment above and beyond the most visible taxes. By creating a hostile environment, Obama and his fellow travelers are harming the very people they profess to care about.

But, at least labor leaders who control campaign unds and labors get rewarded with offices and titles.

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