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Job growth slows in August, more people stop job hunting

Result of the federal cutoff of Extended Unemployment Benefits?
By Masao Suzuki |
September 8, 2014
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San José, CA - On Sept. 5, the Department of Labor’s monthly report on the job market said that employment grew more slowly in August. There was a rise of only 142,000 jobs, much less than the average of about 240,000 for the last six months. In addition, the Labor Department revised down the job gains for June and July by 28,000.

The report also stated that the official unemployment rate ticked down by one-tenth of one percent to 6.1% in August. There was also a large drop (192,000) in the number of long-term unemployed. But rather than finding jobs, many of the long-term unemployed were likely to have given up on finding work. Those who stop looking are then not counted as officially unemployed. The Labor Force Participation Rate, which measures the fraction of working age adults who are either working or looking for work, dropped to 62.8%, matching the rate reached earlier this year, which has not been seen since March of 1978, when fewer women were working.

Back in January, congressional Republicans blocked extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation or EUC. The EUC was designed for unemployed workers whose state benefits, which last only six months, had run out. In January alone, more than a million jobless workers lost their benefits, and since then more than a million more unemployed have lost all their benefits. Many Republicans blame unemployment benefits and the minimum wage for the high unemployment rate.

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