News / Economy

US Unemployment Falls to 7.3 Percent, But Hiring Pace Slows

US Unemployment Falls to 7.3 Percent, But Hiring Pace Slowsi
X
September 07, 2013 3:21 AM
Slower than expected jobs growth in August is likely to weigh on the U.S. central bank’s decision to scale back its monetary stimulus program. U.S. unemployment fell to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest in nearly five years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says even though 169,000 jobs were added in August, fewer jobs were added in June and July than previously thought. Mil Arcega reports from Washington.
US Unemployment Falls to 7.3 Percent, But Hiring Pace Slows
Slower than expected jobs growth in August is likely to weigh on the U.S. central bank’s decision to scale back its monetary stimulus program. U.S. unemployment fell to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest in nearly five years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says even though 169,000 jobs were added in August, fewer jobs were added in June and July than previously thought.

U.S. companies are still hiring, but they’re adding new jobs at a slower pace than many had hoped.

Cary Leahy at Decision Economics said the job market is the weakest it’s been in 12 months. “Momentum has really slipped. Four months ago the average job gain over three months was 200,000 workers per month. It's fallen to 150,000.”

The good news is that unemployment is now at pre-recession levels. The bad news is more Americans have given up looking for work.  

Robert Bixby at the Concord Coalition said that’s especially true for those who have been unemployed six months or longer.  

“One of the most troubling aspects is not just the number of unemployed, but the number of people that are finding it very difficult to get back into the workforce,” said Bixby.

It’s a structural problem that has led to the lowest job participation rate in 35 years.

Economic analysts say automatic spending cuts and higher taxes enacted earlier this year have aggravated the problem. Joseph Gagnon at the Peterson Institute said the so-called sequester has been a drag on U.S. growth.

“That has held us back. So that has meant, instead of a great year, we’re just having a sort of so-so year - not a very good year, but not bad; just sort of mediocre,” said Gagnon.

That mediocre job growth could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to rethink how how fast it scales back policies that have kept long-term interest rates at record lows.

Economist Cary Leahy said the job numbers may be reason enough to delay plans to wind down bond purchases worth $85 billion a month. “Even though the Fed may still surprise us and decide to begin tapering this month, this is basically a major reason not to do that."

Not everyone is concerned. A recent survey of new business owners shows confidence at its highest level in more than a year.

Dane Stangler, director of research for the Kauffman/Legal Zoom Confidence Index, said, "One, people are starting businesses, two among the people who are starting businesses, they’re highly confident about one, their own business prospects and two, about the wider direction of the economy.”

Bright spots include the manufacturing sector, which added 14,000 jobs after five months of declines.  

The average number of hours worked per week also ticked higher in August - a sign that companies need more labor.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8010
JPY
USD
118.31
GBP
USD
0.6371
CAD
USD
1.1397
INR
USD
62.122

Rates may not be current.